FACTORS INFLUENCING PUERTO RICAN WOMEN GRADUATES AND DROPOUTS OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION IN LAW, HEALTH, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

CARMEN MARIA CASIANO-LISBOA, Fordham University

Abstract

An increasing number of Puerto Rican females have forsaken their traditionally assigned roles and moved into diverse careers and professions. This trend has been supported by judicial mandate, legislation and financial aid programs. Despite the increasing numbers of Puerto Rican women entering the professions--including law, health, and the social sciences--this population is still underrepresented and unlikely to make significant gains. The retention rate for Puerto Rican females in the graduate schools is much lower than the retention rate for other groups of the population.^ To examine this problem, an attempt was made to determine whether and in what ways those Puerto Rican females who completed their professional graduate school programs differed from those who did not graduate. Using several standardized instruments as models, a comprehensive questionnaire was designed to measure over 80 factors possibly related to the respondents' success or lack of success in their professional graduate school programs. Over 200 degree completers and noncompleters were contacted and 141 responded.^ Several areas of difference were theorized to exist between the two groups: cultural background, language preference usage, family factors, economic factors, and institutional factors--including the perceived isolation and alienation levels of the Puerto Rican female in the professional graduate school setting.^ It was found, contrary to expectations, that significant differences existed in fewer than 10 of the more than 80 factors investigated.^ These differences consisted primarily of financial and institutional differences, including means of support while in graduate school, and institutional provision of services based on the Puerto Rican females' unique double-bind minority status.^ Various options and solutions are suggested to enhance the Puerto Rican females' likelihood of completing the professional degree program and entering the profession of their choice. ^

Subject Area

Women's studies|Higher education

Recommended Citation

CASIANO-LISBOA, CARMEN MARIA, "FACTORS INFLUENCING PUERTO RICAN WOMEN GRADUATES AND DROPOUTS OF PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION IN LAW, HEALTH, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624472.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624472

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