Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Latina/o transfer students' identity negotiation and visualization of comfortable spaces
by Andrade, Luis M., Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2015, 237; 3663397
Abstract (Summary)

Studies indicate that transfer is a daunting and culturally difficult process for Latin@ students which may explain the overwhelmingly low transfer rate in such population (Bradley, 2013; Campaign for College Opportunity, 2013; Fry, 2011). This is compounded by the fact that administrators and educators have failed to recognize Latin@ students' unique needs and barriers by amalgamating them into the overall student population (Rendón Linares & Muñoz, 2011). This study sought to address the aforementioned problems by investigating successful Latin@ transfer students' identity negotiation and visualization of comfortable spaces at universities before and after transfer. The study focused on students who participated in a community college educational services program and asked whether the program facilitated students' transfer to four-year institutions. Using identity negotiation theory as a framework, the findings revealed that Latin@ transfer students faced unpredictable environments, described the university as a whole new world, and experienced cultural shock. Additionally, they felt insecurity due to the professors, academics, peers, formal language, and their identity as Latin@s. The students reported feeling disconnected, especially from White staff and faculty and other students. However, students started feeling comfortable as they connected with other Latin@s and saw the university as a place for professional and academic positive identification and escape. After time, students felt included because they connected with personalized counselors, felt validation from professors and counselors, and joined Latin@ or major-based clubs. Furthermore, the university provided comfortable spaces where students could connect with other Latin@s and people in their majors, and escape from their hectic worlds. The findings suggest that students who attended the educational services program and were actively involved in workshops and events that the programs provided were better prepared for transfer to four-year institutions. Recommendations are made to support the creation and enforcement of educational services programs. Other recommendations include the following: the promotion of culturally-specific educational services programs and professional relationship development and networking for Latin@ transfer students; advertisement of culturally-specific comfortable spaces where Latin@ students can meet other Latin@s, learn about their majors, and rest; and increasing cultural competency training for students, administrators, and educators.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Currie, Ding-Jo
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Multicultural Education, Higher education
Keywords: Comfortable spaces, Identity negotiation, Intercultural communication, Latina/o students, Photographic elicitation, Transfer
Publication Number: 3663397
ISBN: 978-1-321-90555-7
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