243943 Community-based action research to improve college success among Native Hawaiian and other underserved students

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sharmayne Kamaka, CNA , Employment Training Center, University of Hawai`i at Windward, Kaneohe, HI
Jamie K. Boyd, PhD, APRN , John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Kathryn L. Braun, DrPH , University of Hawaii, and Papa Ola Lokahi, Honolulu, HI
Background: Native Hawaiians, representing 25% of Hawai‘i's population, suffer socioeconomic (SES) and health strains as evidenced by over-representation in low-wage jobs without health insurance and higher prevalence of chronic disease compared to Hawai‘i's other ethnic groups. Native Hawaiians are more likely to attend community colleges than 4-year colleges, but have high dropout rates. Objective: To describe a culturally relevant, community-based action research approach to build a program to keep Hawaiians in college to advance career options and improve long-term health and SES outcomes. Methods: Culturally relevant approaches that depended on participation from a variety of community partners were used to evaluate needs and design interventions. Results: The Pathway Out of Poverty Program uses Hawaiian values and traditions of healthy living to lead students through a nursing pathway from Nurse Aide (NA) to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN), with inherent increases in wage-earning potential. In the first 3.5 years, 150 students enrolled in NA training, and 135 students (90%) graduated and were certified. Of the 135, 77 (57%) transitioned to higher education and 79% transitioned to jobs that offered health insurance (20% were in both groups). Of the 77 entering higher education, 33 (43%) aimed for a degree in nursing. Students expressed growing interest in health promotion for themselves, family members, and others. Conclusion: Community partners were key to developing a successful community college-based Pathway Programs to help marginalized and other underrepresented students move from low-wage to living-wage jobs and improve their long-term health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
The learner will be able to describe effective use of Community-based Participatory Action Research to reduce economic and health disparities. The learner will be able to describe issues of college dropout among underserved students. The learner will be able to describe approaches to improve college graduation among underserved students.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Participatory Action Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.