Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Ronald Hallett

First Committee Member

Debra Bukko

Second Committee Member

Delores McNair


This qualitative multiple-case study explored the supports and barriers experienced by nine first-generation Hispanic male high school students who met the college entrance requirements for the University of California and California State University systems. Research indicates that Hispanic males lag behind other underrepresented populations when it comes to college readiness, application, and enrollment rates. Given that parent education level is a strong predictor of degree attainment and that Hispanics have some of the lowest parent education levels, it is essential to examine how first-generation college-bound Hispanic males experience supports that help mitigate the barriers they face when pursuing college enrollment. Particularly in California, where the Hispanic population continues to rise exponentially, it is important for educational practitioners to develop a better understanding of how to support first-generation Hispanic students. This study aims to contribute to the research on improving college access for underrepresented populations using resiliency theory as the lens through which to examine this issue. Rather than look through a deficit-oriented lens, resiliency theory focuses on the protective factors or supports that help mitigate risk factors or barriers. Using data collected through interviews and document analysis, the findings here showed the significant role of supports such as academic capital and college knowledge, a systematic focus on college readiness, college readiness and bridge programs, and a strong counseling program for these students. In addition, it was evident that the students’ familial connections to college had a significant impact on the level of academic capital of each of them, reinforcing the need to look beyond the label of “first-generation”.





To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in ProQuest



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email


Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).