AbstractWomen in Hawai`i graduate at slightly higher rates than men at three of the four major institutions of higher education in Hawai`i (Institute for Women's Policy Research The Status of Women in Hawaii 2006) as compared to up to seventy-three percent of men at these same Hawai'i institutions and compared to nearly eighty-five percent of women who enroll at women-only colleges.
With fewer than half of all enrolled women students at the four major Hawai`i institutions graduating, it is important to understand the possible influences that may contribute to this problem -- one of which is observable institutional culture. Considerable research on the influence of elements of institutional culture has been done at most major institutions of higher education in the continental United States. However, little research is available at the four major institutions of higher education in Hawai`i on this topic as it relates to women students.
This dissertation attempts to recognize and assist in understanding elements of institutional culture on women's graduation rates at four multicultural coeducational higher education institutions in Hawai`i.
A study of elements of observable institutional culture, which appeared to affect higher education attainment (i.e. artifacts, values, basic assumptions and beliefs), was conducted through a review of literature in the fields of institutional culture, and higher education attainment in Hawai`i. A review and document analysis of publicly available data, publications, existing research analysis and secondary data analysis from sources that yield statistical data was undertaken to identify and explore observable elements of institutional culture at four major institutions of higher education in Hawai`i that may be associated with women's graduation rates in Hawai`i.
A constant comparative methodology was applied to the study to determine answers to the following questions:
1. Using document analysis, what is revealed about elements of institutional culture (i.e., artifacts, values, basic assumptions and beliefs) at the four major institutions of higher education in Hawai'i; University of Hawai'i - Manoa, Hawai'i Pacific University, Brigham Young University - Hawai'i, and Chaminade University of Honolulu?
2. More specifically, does document analysis hold any promise for revealing an association between elements of institutional culture at the four major institutions of higher education and women's graduation and retention rates?