The Promotion of Persistence for First Generation Hispanic College Students

The Promotion of Persistence for First Generation Hispanic College Students

Christina Castaneda Puente (Lamar University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2069-6.ch010
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This qualitative research study examined the lived experiences of five successful first generation Hispanic college students. Findings from this study confirm the influences for student success in college regarding their persistence towards graduation. These factors included: commitment, expectations, support systems, feedback, involvement, and the learning process. Other conclusions from the study included the significance of role models and mentorships for students throughout their college experience. The building of relationships supported the students through the transition into college as well as steering them through the barriers and challenges they faced while in college. Findings also confirmed the significance of family influences, financial obligations, and self-transformation.
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Examining the background for these students is important to discuss. Literature examining first generation Hispanic college students who have persevered into their junior or senior year of college was very limited regarding persistence (Olive, 2010). Members of the Hispanic race belong to the most rapidly growing ethnic minority group in the United States, resulting in a culturally diverse nation of 50.5 million people who classify themselves as Hispanic out of 308.7 million people who reside in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). However, Hispanics have the smallest growth in aspirations for post-secondary schooling (Aud, Fox, & KewalRamani, 2010). Ivers, Milsom, and Newsome (2012) suggested that Hispanic students’ educational success has been compromised by elevated rates of high school dropouts and the premature abandonment of academic subjects in secondary education.

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