Publication Date

Summer 8-10-2022

Document Type

Action research project: USD users only.

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


This action research project weaves together dialogue and stories shared by former public school students from the U.S. territory of American Sāmoa. We have investigated the ways in which they have made sense of their student journeys, cultural identity development, and the continuous navigation of their lives after high school. Currently, there is little research that speaks to the postsecondary trajectories of students of American Sāmoa. This void in student perspective and academic analysis suggests that local leaders continue to lead without the informed support needed to maintain effective and sustainable systems of student support within the territory. This project was guided by the following questions: “How and where do students of American Sāmoa thrive after high school? What are their stories? How can I, as a coparticipant, welcome and weave together these stories as a model for student support practices in American Sāmoa?” The study’s mixed methodology involved a collection of quantitative data samples and a series of qualitative ethnographic interviews. Results and recommendations from this study provide local leaders with critical student insight, essential to making informed decisions towards supporting college and career-readiness practices for future generations of American Sāmoa.

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