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Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Second Committee Member

Norena Badway

Third Committee Member

Louis Wildman

Abstract

This study investigated the social factors affecting female Hispanic transfer students. The importance of the study relates to the relatively low graduation rates for this population and the fact that the Hispanics represent the fastest growing segment of the population in California. This study explored the topic through qualitative inquiry leading to the formation of a grounded theory. The population was limited to female Hispanic students under the age of 30, who transferred from a local 2 year college, and who applied for graduation. There were two groups: (a) neither parent attended college, and (b) at least one parent attended college. Data collection occurred in three stages: (a) collection and review of demographic data, (b) rating importance of involvement factors, and (c) guided questions to facilitate opportunity for discovery. The most universal finding was that family was their most influential social connection regarding support to attend and graduate from college. This finding was true irrespective of parental educational level. Most of the students felt their experience at the 2 year college was an extension of high school . All of the students had at least some fear about transferring and all of the students held down jobs while attending college. Each student had very a different experience in this process. This led the researcher to caution college and university decision makers to be careful not to oversimplify solutions to this issue. Faculty support was found to be particularly important in this study because the time students did spend on campus was almost exclusively in the classroom. This confirmed that faculty provides a key opportunity for individual attention and support for persisting to graduation. Other researchers should further examine the concept of the Three Connections in Social Integration : (a) personal connections, (b) extra curricular connections, and (c) academic connections. Examine the concept of the Five Stages to Graduation : (a) early experiences, (b) decision to attend the 2 year college, (c) the 2 year college experience, (d) transition, and (e) the 4 year college experience.

Pages

128

ISBN

9780496117864 , 0496117866

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