Date of Graduation

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Second Advisor

Shabnam Koirala-Azad

Third Advisor

Elena Flores

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative research is to discover and describe the successes and institutional barriers along the educational pipeline for Latinas who are the first in their families to have successfully completed their undergraduate degrees. This research explores the unique elements of gender such as gender role socialization and stereotyping under the context of student retention and successful completion of a baccalaureate degree. This research includes nine counterstories of Latinas who were the first in their families to have successfully completed their undergraduate degrees. The results of this study find that throughout childhood, many participants' parents taught their children how to overcome race and socioeconomic barriers through their verbal encouragement, parents' stories of struggles, role modeling of a strong work ethic, parents' value of education, and parents motivating their children to have a more comfortable and financially stable life. Cultural resiliency gave participants the impetus to strive for success in education and also inspired a sense of collective responsibility to transcend obstacles they faced throughout the educational pipeline.

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