In a knowledge-based economy, achievement of a postsecondary credential has become a requirement for individual development and, specifically, fulfillment of career aspirations. In the onset of the Twenty-First Century, Hispanic youth represent the fast growing group in postsecondary educational programs in the United; however, Hispanic youth have the highest non-completion rate in postsecondary programs. This study investigated the lived experiences of 15 Hispanic youth during their transition to postsecondary education and supplements current research on the postsecondary achievement of the Hispanic community. Participants of this study were enrolled in postsecondary programs at public colleges or universities in a large metropolitan area in the Midwest Region of the United States. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach was used to explore in detail how Hispanic youth make sense of their personal and social world to better understand the meaning of their experiences and events that have influenced them during their transition to postsecondary education. An adaptation of Tinto’s Model of Student Departure (1993) provided the theoretical framework. The themes found in this study include the lack of a sense of belonging that Hispanic youth experience at postsecondary educational institutions, racism, and difficulty accessing quality education programs and financial resources. Facilitating positive and effective connections for Hispanic youth with postsecondary faculty and promoting a sense of belonging may help future Hispanic youth access to and succeed in postsecondary programs. The findings of this research could help postsecondary faculty and administrators better connect with Hispanic youth and increase their success at postsecondary education programs. Furthermore, recommendations of further research are presented.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.May 2017. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Rosemarie Park. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 162 pages.
Lived Experiences of Hispanic Youth during Their Transition to Postsecondary Education.
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