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Hispanic American Students' Access to Higher Education

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Kelly Johanna

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of Hispanic American Students' Access to Higher Education

Hispanic American Students' Access to Higher Education
Take a look around your college classroom...
I bet you can count on one hand
the number of Hispanic American
students in it.
Hispanic Americans' underrepresentation in
higher education facilities is a real and current issue.
Why does this matter?
Hispanics are the largest growing minority in the country.
By 2021 every 1 out of 4 students will be Hispanic.

By 2050 30% of the population
will be Hispanic.
The demand for college educated workers is rapidly growing in the job market.
A great gap in the supply of workers to the job market will be created due to a great majority of the population, Hispanics, not being college educated.
This shortage of workers will have a
impact on our economy.
Something needs to be done to prevent any damage to our economy. We need to
as a nation and work together.
By Kelly Fernandez
Doctor Bohannon
English 1102

Highlights of some of the literary sources used in my research
Dispelling Seven Myths Concerning Latina/o Students: A Call to Action to School Counselors. By Javier Cavazos Jr., Alyssa G. Cavazos, Maria G. Hinojosa, and Marcos Silva.
The article helped my research by providing me with the idea to research if the interactions of school counselors with Hispanic American students have an impact on them pursuing higher education. As per the article, school counselors can inhibit the chances of them doing so.
Fulfilling Educational Aspirations: Latino Students' College Information Seeking Patterns. By Sylvia Martinez and Yesenia Lucia Cervera.
The article talks about the ways in which Hispanic Americans access information pertaining to college and how those information seeking patterns affect their chances of moving on to higher education. It gave me the idea to research how the participants of my research accessed college information and if they felt they were prepared to tackle the college process based on the information obtained.
Financial Aid as a Perceived Barrier to College for Latino Students. By Maria Estela Zarate and David Fabienke.
The article added to my research by providing me with research-based results that confirm Hispanic Americans are not knowledgeable about the different types of financial aid available to them. Therefore, they could already be eliminating the option of going to college just based on financial issues. I investigated this topic further in my own research.
Despite Strong Belief in Higher Education, Hispanics Often Don't Make It to College. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, and Trevor Tompson
The article adds to my research by bringing to my attention the need to research any cultural barriers that might be preventing Hispanic Americans from progressing in their education. It talks about the effect that families have on education, the need for role models for these students, and the principle of not wanting to get in debt in exchange for an education.
The Latino Education Crisis. By Patricia Gandara.
The article goes into detail about the many obstacles faced by Hispanic Americans when it comes to accessing higher education. However, the obstacle from the article that I used in my research was how parent's educational levels and their knowledge of the college process in the United States affects the chances of this group to continue their education past high school.
Hispanic Americans are stereotyped to not care about education therefore many consider this the main cause to their underrepresentation in higher education. I believe this to not be true and I researched the real reasons preventing Hispanic Americans from pursuing higher education to advocate for this stereotype to stop and for Hispanic Americans to be given the same chances in education as everybody else.
How I conducted my research
My Participants
6 in total. 3 Males 3 Females.
Considered Hispanic by either having been born in Latin American countries or having parents from Latin American countries.
Completed high school or obtained a GED.
Could have attempted some college credit but not obtained a degree nor be currently enrolled in college.
Under the age of 25
Legally in the U.S. or undocumented
My method was interviewing. I chose it because it allowed me to obtain the experiences, opinions, and thoughts of this group of people directly from them and in a one to one setting which allowed for better results.
The interview process
Started by reaching out to my community, friends, and friends of friends to find participants.
Took place in my participant's homes.
Asked questions on a range of subjects.
Ranged from 20 minutes up to an hour of duration.
Audio recorded the interviews
How I analyzed my results
Compared and contrasted with the ten literary sources.
Organized answers by research question to see trends or patterns based on question.
Looked for issues that faced a particular sex.
Converted quantitative data into charts/graphs to visually help me distinguish patters or trends in data.
Noticed answers out of the norm.
Noticed connections between answers.
Noticed patterns between answers.
Family issues
33.33% of participants rated family issues to be the greatest obstacles in them pursuing higher education.
Only 8% of parents of my interview participants had attended or completed college. The remaining percentage of parents' highest educational level varied from 2nd grade up to completing high school.
As the graph shows only 16.67 % of parents know how the college system in the U.S. works.
83.33% of the participants had children and preferred to spend any free time with their family instead of using it for school.
66.66% of the participants rated family as the most important aspect of their life as compared to the education, work, and entertainment aspects of their life.
Financial issues
33.33% of participants rated financial issues to be the greatest obstacle against them pursuing higher education.
As shown on the graph 66% of the participants did not know about financial aid (types of aid and prerequisites).
33.33% of participants were undocumented and they stated that financial issues were the greatest barrier for undocumented students due to them having to pay out of state tuition.
50% of participants mentioned that having to work to economically sustain themselves and their families was the greatest obstacle against them pursuing higher education.
Most important data found
Information Issues
50% of participants did not speak to a school counselor about college while in high school.
33% of participants did not receive any information about college while in high school.
83.33% of participants felt they were not provided with enough information about college while in high school to enable them to actually reach out and apply to college.
100% of participants had applied to college however only 83.33% attended college for a certain amount of time and earned some college credit.
Out of those 83.33%, 66.66% researched for themselves all the information required to enable them to attend college.
Hispanic Americans care about education, all of my participants had applied to college and many had attended college for a while.

What needs to be changed:
The way that Hispanic Americans are prepared for college by providing them with more information about financial aid, college entrance requirements, etc.
Start educating the parents of these students so they can also be more prepared to help their kids be ready for college.
Have school counselors interact more with these students during their high school academic career since they are lacking role models at home whom to guide them into the higher education path.
These students need to be molded so that they are ready for college since very little and not set up to fail in the college environment.

We have time to stop this trend from damaging our economy and bettering our country and way of living.
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