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PIER Through a Critical Lens: An Evaluation of a Student-Initiated, Student-Run Outreach Program

  • Author(s): Saelua, Natasha Autasi
  • Advisor(s): Camacho, Keith L
  • et al.
Abstract

This thesis offers an evaluation of Pacific Islander Education and Retention (PIER), a student-initiated, student-run outreach project at UCLA. The purpose is to assess the programmatic impact on its intended audience, Pacific Islander high school students. The project relies on an oral history approach, and includes in-depth interviews with seven former PIER students. The research demonstrates that PIER offers high school students three core benefits: the creation of safe spaces within their educational environment; the presence of Pacific Islander college students who serve as role models; and the enhancement of higher education awareness. Ultimately, this thesis revealed that PIER made a positive impact in how Pacific Islander youth came to understand and appreciate the idea of access to higher education.

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