What Degrees Native Hawaiians Are Earning

R.J. Brown/Civil Beat

Earlier this month Civil Beat reported that more Native Hawaiians are staying in college long enough to earn their degrees.

While that is good news, it is equally important to know what disciplines they graduate in. So Civil Beat followed up a University of Hawaii presentation to the regents showing great progress in Native Hawaiian graduates by asking what kind of degrees they were earning and how that compared with their peers.

It turns out Native Hawaiians earn the same degrees their peers do, and in similar percentages.

Civil Beat obtained the number of degrees earned by both Native Hawaiians and the total student body at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and from which colleges. The numbers are from fall 2009 and spring 2010 graduations.

While the largest number of students chose the liberal arts and education, the data show that a higher percentage of Native Hawaiians earned degrees in engineering and medicine than among their peers. Fewer Native Hawaiians earned business degrees.

"We're creating opportunities where they weren't before," John Morton, vice president for Community Colleges, told the regents.

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