Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

¡Si, Se Puede! Stories of first-generation, Mexican American community college alumnae
by Bravo-Gutierrez, Gloria, Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2014, 128; 3640001
Abstract (Summary)

The stories of seven first-generation Mexican-American women community college alumnae who persisted and achieved their associates' degrees at Phoenix College revealed nine themes in this qualitative research study. Those themes fell into the following categories: requisites for success, obstacles to success, and assets students possess. Themes within requisites for success include family members give student inspiration to achieve, mentor helps student navigate barriers, Phoenix College diversity helps student feel welcome, and ACE Program supported student progress beyond high school years. Themes within obstacles to success include challenges with financial aid, single-parent responsibilities, SB1070 and Proposition 300 impact on undocumented Latina student and documented Latina students. Themes within assets students possess include faith in God, and si,se puede, yes, I can attitude.

Overarching typologies that emerged between several of the participants were Xichanista, Escondida, Sacrifícia, and Lucha. Xichanista captures the flavor of social activism while Escondida depicts more of a lower profile focused solely on academics. Sacrifícia is placing focus on others before herself and doing what must be done for the moment. Lucha is focused on survival and reality. There is fluidity in the typologies. Over the life of her academic journey, a Latina may shift between two or more of these typologies as she grows.

In this research, participants told stories of strength they did not realize they had until faced with their challenges. Each participant received validation from significant individuals: family, mentors, advisors, faculty or close friends.

Keywords: Latinas, associate's degree, community college, Mexican American women, critical race theory, LatCrit, mestiza consciousness, validation, first-generation, Hispanic

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gallegos, Placida V.
Commitee: Baca, Leonard M., Nelson, Annabelle L., Rendon, Laura I., Turner, Scott
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: Human and Organization Development
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Community college education, Gender studies, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Associate's degrees, Community college, First-generation mexican american women, Hispanic, LatCrit, Mexican american women
Publication Number: 3640001
ISBN: 9781321251517
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