Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The relationship between educational achievement and educational aspirations for Latino middle and high school students
by Moore, Kashara S., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 126; 3708289
Abstract (Summary)

Almost one-third of the students attending public high schools in the United States dropout of school each year with Hispanic students being a significant percentage of the students failing to graduate. While, this is a national problem, there is a variation in the rates in which specific ethnic/racial groups are dropping out of school with Hispanics (36.5%) dropping out at a higher rate than Asian (8.6%) and White (19%) students. This study analyzes the group difference between Latino students' educational aspirations and academic achievement during eighth and 10th grade, as well as gender difference in aspiration level.

The findings of this study assessing the relationship of educational aspirations and academic achievement of Latino students who are participants of GEAR UP yielded varying results. The educational aspirations of the GEAR UP Latino students during eighth and 10th grade showed a growth in the variable over time. Further, the educational aspirations and the academic achievement of the student participants produced relationships of significance during the students' eighth grade year, but not during their 10th grade year. It was found during eighth grade, participants with educational aspirations of a bachelor's or master's degree had better academic outcomes, based on California Standard Test (CST) performance, than student participants with higher educational aspirations of a professional degree (i.e., medical, law). This was not the case for 10th grade findings, which yielded non-significant results between academic achievement and educational aspiration after the transition to high school. Next, when analyzing aspiration level based on gender, there was no significant relationship, which may be attributed to the programming of GEAR UP. Lastly, a regression analysis to assess the predictability of 10th grade GPA was reviewed using the independent variables eighth grade GPA, CST performance, and educational aspiration. The analysis showed eighth grade GPA had the strongest relationship to 10th GPA.

These findings suggest there are factors beyond educational aspirations contributing to student persistence and academic achievement in high school, with eighth grade GPA having the strongest relationship to 10th grade GPA. Based on this, the perception students have about their possible education attainment level may be developed based upon educational experiences from middle school. Therefore, student's relationships, self-efficacy beliefs, and academic performance in this period of the educational pipeline are critical for educational attainment levels beyond high school.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kim, Simon
Commitee: Boyd, Rupi, Nakai, Karen, Person, Dawn
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Middle School education, Secondary education, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Achievement, Educational aspirations, Latino, Middle school
Publication Number: 3708289
ISBN: 978-1-321-83376-8
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