Date of Award
Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Douglas DeVore
Dr. Lisbeth Johnson
Dr. Linda De Long
Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and describe how first-year Latino college students of first-generation Latino immigrant parents in the Coachella Valley perceived the influence of their parents and their high school experience on their decision to seek a college education.
Methodology: This qualitative case study used qualitative data from semistructured, open-ended interview questions to analyze the research questions regarding the influence parents and high school experience had on first-year Latino college students and their decision to seek a college education. The population for the study included first-year Latino college students in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.
Findings: The findings from this case study suggest that even though Latino immigrant parents might not be familiar with the process to apply and go to college, their support was instrumental in influencing their children to pursue higher education. In addition to parent support, the influence of teachers and certain school programs also played a major role in influencing first-generation Latino students to seek a college education.
Conclusions: The findings from this case study led the researcher to conclude that despite challenges, first-generation Latino students seek a college education with the support and encouragement from their parents and school personnel. First-generation Latino immigrant families’ values and connectedness played a major role in influencing their children to seek a college degree. In addition to this, certain school programs such as AVID proved to be major influential factors for first-generation Latino students’ decision to seek a college education.
Recommendations: This research should be replicated in other regions of the United States with a larger sample. Another recommendation is to replicate this study focusing on the perception of Latino immigrant parents and their influence on student achievement. Future research should include the perceptions and challenges undocumented Latino families face when seeking a college education. Finally, the researcher recommends that a study be conducted comparing generational similarities and differences among first-generation Latino immigrants and third- or fourth-generation Latino immigrants and the academic achievement of each group.
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Hernandez, Maricela, "Exploring the Motivations That Influence First-Generation Latino Immigrant Students to Seek a College Education" (2017). Dissertations. 101.