First-generation college students of color are one of the most frequently targeted groups for access and retention programs in higher education. However, literature on the persistence and resistance strategies of this student population remain predominantly limited to quantitative research. The dissertation was undertaken as a mixed methods study focused on a case study of one private, four-year predominantly white institution. The importance of this study is that while access to higher education has increased for marginalized groups, the persistence and graduation rates of first-generation students of color are alarmingly low in comparison to white students. Significantly, the study introduces a new conceptual framework to the literature, Ser Educada [to be educated], which uncovers the educational experiences of first-generation Latinas as they successfully navigate and persist in higher education. The quantitative data demonstrate how these trends play out at the site of study, especially among first-generation Latinas. Through qualitative data, gathered through focus groups, the women add their testimonios to the literature. Data were analyzed through the lenses of LatCrit, Critical Race Feminism, and borderlands. The study finds that the mujeres negotiate their identity by creating opportunities for transformational resistance through their familia, as they define their educación, in owning their feminidad, and in finding hermandad . The findings of this study have great potential to contribute to policy in higher education at the institutional level, in terms of admissions practices, advising practices, reforms to teaching practices, increased hiring of Latina/o faculty and staff, and the support of student diversity groups.
|Commitee:||Duncan-Andrade, Jeffrey, Hyun, Helen|
|School:||San Francisco State University|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Hispanic American studies, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Critical race theory, First-generation, Latinas, Resistance, Retention|
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