Male pacific islander student-athletes at the California community college

Athletic participation in community college athletics has been shown to promote academic success. However, these benefits are not shared across all athlete subgroups. Although male Pacific Islanders student-athletes consistently perform at the bottom for all academic markers of success, explanations for poor academic performance are not identified in the literature. This research examines the educational experiences of successful male Pacific Islander student-athletes in the California community colleges, intentionally pursuing strength-based data rather than assuming a deficit approach based on Pacific Islanders being the lowest performing student-athletes in the state. The athletic and academic experiences of five successful male Pacific Islander student-athletes and the factors that contribute to their success are discussed in this phenomenological study. Data suggests that family and retaining close ties to family as well as a supportive athletic environment that fosters accountability are facilitators of student success.