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ERIC Number: ED380179
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jan
Pages: 87
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
First-Year Student Experiences in Community College: Making Transitions, Forming Connections, and Developing Perceptions of Student Learning. Draft.
Jalomo, Romero Espinoza, Jr.
This paper provides theoretical background and methodology for a focus group study of influences on first-time Latino community college students. The first chapter identifies the need for research on Latino students, citing high attrition rates and focusing on three critical dynamics: making the transition to college, making connections on campus through student involvement, and influences on students' perceptions of their learning ability. The second chapter provides a review of research on first-year and Latino students, offering a theoretical perspective for the focus group study. The literature reviewed in this section indicates the following: (1) despite the 90% growth of Latino student enrollment between 1980 and 1991, colleges are not retaining these students; (2) student-related factors influencing attrition include poverty, unemployment, social class origins, inadequate academic preparation, weak study habits, self-doubt, low self-esteem, and cultural separation; (3) Latino college students face issues of changing identity, breaking cultural ties and family codes of loyalty and unity; and (4) student perceptions about learning ability are influenced by previous academic achievement and past interactions with faculty and peers, both in- and out-of-class. The final chapter reviews the methodology of a qualitative, focus group study of the attitudes and experiences of 17 first-time Latino students at a California community college and 13 at a Texas community college. This chapter also argues for the use of qualitative research not to draw statistical conclusions, but to uncover insights from student voices. Focus group questions are appended. (Contains 105 references.) (KP)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.