Understanding Factors that Promote Baccalaureate Degree Attainment among Low-Income, First- and Second-Generation Mexicans and Dominicans

Joann Gonzalez-Generals, Fordham University

Abstract

This qualitative research examined factors that influence baccalaureate degree completion among low-income, first- and second-generation Mexican and Dominican students. This research explored the challenges that students from these specific Latino sub-groups confront throughout their college careers. The literature review offered a historical perspective of the presence of Latinos in the U.S. and examined the scholarly research addressing Latino college retention and completion. Participants who attended community colleges were also included in the study. Sixteen graduates of Mexican and Dominican descent were purposefully selected for this study. Through a phenomenological approach and semi-structured interviews, this study explored factors that Mexican- and Dominican-origin college graduates perceived were associated with their baccalaureate degree completion. Findings revealed seven factors that influenced participants’ baccalaureate degree completion: 1) pre-college academic experiences; 2) financial support; 3) supportive campus climate; 4) transition from community colleges to four-year colleges; 5) role of family; 6) academic self-confidence; and 7) identity development. Additionally, findings revealed that participants faced significant challenges during college. These challenges included: 1) mental health issues; 2) imposter syndrome; 3) traditional gender roles; and 4) social capital.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Hispanic American studies|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Gonzalez-Generals, Joann, "Understanding Factors that Promote Baccalaureate Degree Attainment among Low-Income, First- and Second-Generation Mexicans and Dominicans" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13883674.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI13883674

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