Latinos continue to be underrepresented among students entering and completing engineering programs and overrepresented among first-generation college students; however few studies have examined the intersections between generational status and college major. I propose that to enhance the postsecondary persistence of first-generation college Latino students who pursue engineering baccalaureate degrees, it is necessary to understand their college experiences. I therefore interviewed eight undergraduate senior first-generation college Latino students majoring in engineering and analyzed these interviews guided by a psychosociocultural model (PSC) to address the context specific psychological, social, and cultural factors that shape the college experiences of these students. The findings revealed that: wanting to do well for themselves and their families enhanced participants' desires to do well academically and persist to graduation; the accessibility of professors played a role in whether or not participants felt validated; and participants differentiated between the climate on campus and the climate within the school of engineering.
The College Experiences of First-Generation College Latino Students in Engineering
Kristan Venegas, University of Southern California, Ronald Hallett, University of the Pacific, Araceli Espinoza; The College Experiences of First-Generation College Latino Students in Engineering. Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies 1 July 2013; 5 (2): 71–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.18085/llas.5.2.p38569tj26k6w972
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