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ERIC Number: ED563863
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 316
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-0283-2
Explaining the Success of High-Achieving 2nd-Generation Latino Students at Elite Colleges and Universities
Kula, Stacy M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
Latinos represent the largest minority population in the US, yet are one of the most underserved groups in the educational system. As such, they have been the focus of much attention by educational researchers. However, there is little work enabling researchers to understand how many factors might interactively support achievement. Moreover, the literature has tended to focus on reasons for underperformance; few studies have focused on high-performing Latino students. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine factors supporting high achievement of 2nd-generation Latino students leading to attendance at elite colleges and universities. The achievement matrix model was utilized for a comprehensive approach in looking at achievement patterns. The achievement matrix is a four-part model that considers macro- and micro-level factors, each divided into internal and external dimensions; the four resulting domains are proposed to interact in producing achievement. For the study, 42 2nd-generation Latino upperclassmen in elite colleges and universities across the US were interviewed. The interviews provided a comprehensive picture of their paths to these elite schools. Significant school agents and parents were also interviewed to add outside perspectives to their stories. A content analysis was conducted to determine the factors that most influenced their success, and additionally to discover ways in which these factors interacted to further enable achievement. Findings indicate that academic success is supported by many factors, including participation in educational opportunity structures, positive relationships with teachers, high parental expectations, achievement motivation, and characteristics such as grit. Patterns in strength and type of influence of macro-level vs. micro-level and "internal" vs. "external" factors, as well as different types of interactions between factors, indicated that coordinated, multi-level efforts may make a difference in encouraging broader Latino achievement. Taken together, the data suggest that the school is a pivotal site of positive influence for achievement. Specifically, schools can implement a college-going culture and broaden the scope of college access programs, eliminate tracking, enable deeper teacher-student relationships, and engage families. Such multifaceted efforts have the best chance of encouraging high achievement for a broader segment of Latino students. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A