NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED554740
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 180
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-3464-4
The Role of Social Capital and School Structure on Latino Access to Elite Colleges
Gonzalez, Jeremiah J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
Latinos make up the fastest growing population in the United States. However, this group has some of the lowest educational outcomes (Gandara & Contreras, 2009). Although large numbers of Latinos fail to achieve high levels of academic success, some Latinos are able to accomplish educational outcomes that compare with those of the most privileged members of society. Research has found that families play an important role in the academic achievement of Latino students (Gandara, 1995). However, most Latino parents are often unable to provide specific college-related support. Latino students tend to rely on institutional agents to provide the information that their parents are unable to provide (Stanton-Salazar, 2001). In addition, siblings and peers often play a contributing role in providing access to college information (Ceja, 2006). Access to these other sources of information is often determined based on the structures that exist within schools (Conchas, 2006). The purpose of this study was to investigate how school structure and different forms of social capital impact the college access of Latino students at elite colleges and to provide recommendations for policy and practice to increase Latino access to elite colleges. In order to better understand the experiences of Latino students at elite colleges, this paper used a theoretical framework combining the concepts of social capital and school structure. The role of families, institutional agents, and peers as sources of social capital for Latino access to elite colleges were investigated. Although social capital played a determining role in the academic achievement of many Latino students, the contributing factor of how school structures allow and deny the exchange of college knowledge was also key in understanding Latino academic success. This study utilized interviews conducted with 47 working-class Latino college students at small, elite liberal arts colleges. The data revealed that families and institutional agents played a contributing role in the college application and choice process. The study also revealed that special programs and special schools played a key role in Latino access to elite colleges. Implications for policy and practice were discussed. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A