There have been many recent changes in education focused on closing the achievement gap, yet minority students continue to fall behind. Latina/o students encounter systemic oppression in schools and society in the forms of academic tracking, classism, racism, and other biases (Bemak & Chung, 2011; Dickson, Zamora, Gonzalez, Chun, & Callaghan Leon, 2011; Hipolito-Delgado & Lee, 2007; Holcomb-McCoy, 2007; Martinez, 2003; Ortiz & Gonzales, 2000). At the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels, Latina/os attend schools whose educational conditions are some of the most inadequate in the United States (Oakes, 1984; Valencia, 1991). One of the most significant school reforms at the high school level is converting comprehensive high schools into small schools or small learning communities. This school structure could be beneficial in addressing some of the academic issues of minority students but also offer some cautions.
The problem under investigation in this study is the achievement gap of Latina/os students in gaining college access in comparison to their white peers (Education Trust, 2010). While small schools were created to close this achievement gap, there are still some concerns in regards to college access of these students. The purpose of this study was to explore Latina/os college students’ experiences from the same small high school on how the school helped or hindered their college access. It also explores how these students used their community cultural wealth factors in order to overcome challenges and be successful. Led by a narrative inquiry interview qualitative methodology, data was collected via 10 semi-structured interviews of college students who met the necessary criteria for this study.
Findings from this study suggested that the family feeling these students cited of being in the small school, was a factor that contributed to their academic success. The college awareness resources that were available to them with constant reminders from a college counselor also contributed to their success. Through a critical race theory lens, (Solórzano, 2001) this study also revealed institutional oppression occurred through the school’s lack of quality Advanced Placement courses, lack of diversity, and insufficient funding for extra-curricular or school activities that hindered their acceptance to prestigious universities. Further, participants expressed that they overcame these challenges using Yosso’s (2005) six community culture wealth factors.
Recommendations for this study include key curricular strategies to ensure students experiential knowledge is considered in creating the school’s curriculum. Secondly, the importance of having a robust curriculum, and the role of creating funding to offer extra-curricular and school activities will make a huge impact on Latina/os’ college access.
|Advisor:||Slater, Charles L.|
|Commitee:||Gordon, Jake, Huber, Lindsay Perez|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration, Education|
|Keywords:||College access, Community cultural wealth factors, Critical race theory, Latina/o high school students, Small schools|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be