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ERIC Number: ED551293
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 237
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-6429-4
Latino Males Degree Aspirations in Community College: A Qualitative Study
Dorame, Francisco
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, California Lutheran University
Latino males are the least likely to attend, persist, and attain a baccalaureate degree compared to other male groups in higher education. Moreover, they tend to have the lowest degree aspirations of any major race or ethnic group (Saenz & Ponjuan, 2009; Driscoll, 2007; Swail, Cabrera, & Lee, 2004; Laanan, 2000; Kao & Tienda, 1998). To figure out how to close this achievement gap is to understand what influences Latinos aspirations. This qualitative dissertation utilized a case study approach to understand the experiences of eight Latino males attending a California community college. Each student was interviewed three times, the participants submitted journal entries, and a concluding focus group was conducted to find the meaning from their experiences. The purpose of the study was to explore the degree aspirations of Latino male students attending a California community college in their second year. The study included three research questions that delved in to the experiences of eight participants. It revolved around three primary research questions which included: (1) what are the degree aspirations of the participants; (2) what experiences influenced their degree aspirations; and (3) what changes if any took place over the first year and a half. The findings included four common themes that influenced Latino degree aspirations which included; (1) Involvement and engagement; (2) Influential counselors, faculty and friends; (3) Financial challenges; and (4) Family. First, students who were involved and engaged in student programs (i.e. EOPS, Summer Bridge) and worked on-campus credited these activities as influential factors that assisted their degree aspirations. These students connected psychologically and socially to an affinity group that was achievement oriented (Kuh et al., 2007). Secondly, the participants discussed that counselors, faculty, and friends were influential factors in their degree aspirations. Participants expressed that these individuals validated their academic goals, while others shared invalidation and felt they needed additional support. Furthermore, students found that finances influenced degree aspirations negatively because it was seen as a major obstacle, especially for those seeking graduate degrees. Financial challenges ultimately altered the participants transfer school choices seeking four-year universities based on factors affecting finances, and not potential, ability, or desire. Lastly, family played a dual role that of inspiration and encouragement, while others perceived family to be added pressure and obstacles towards their degree aspirations. This study found that family no longer only provides motivation, encouragement, and support throughout the participants' college experience (Hernandez and Lopez, 2004) they are now influencing major selection, career path, and degree aspirations. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California