Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 6
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from groups with low college-going rates get inadequate support at home, in their communities,
in their high schools, and from colleges and universities. While these barriers listed in the
University of California report address issues predominantly at the postsecondary level, many of
these same barriers can be seen as Latino students move from the community college level to a
four-year institution and ultimately to graduate or professional school.
Other scholars (McGregor, 2003) have found these barriers that discourage some first-
generation Latino students from pursuing educational opportunities beyond community colleges:
low income and the need for more than one breadwinner in the family; students' unfamiliarity
with educational requirements and the transfer process; a cultural view that often discourages
women from pursuing higher education; lack of role models within higher education and others
who might serve as mentors; improper documentation and lack of residency status; difficulty of
transferring credits from foreign institutions; and the institutions' rules, regulations, and values
that are often foreign concepts to students who are immigrants or children of immigrants. Many
of these barriers continue to exist through the graduate level. Since a graduate education at a
health science center offers an even further leap for all students, especially minority students
who often lack role models, many of these same barriers can be pointed to in the transition to this
specific graduate institution. Mellander (2005) outlines some of the barriers that still exist for
Latino students entering a medical school. While overt discrimination ended with the 1960s,
attitudes change less quickly. Entrenched patterns still exist, especially when it comes to
institutions steeped in tradition such as medical schools. Barriers at a health professions school,
which includes health science centers, still include an over-reliance on standardized testing in the
admissions process, an unsupportive institutional culture once admitted to graduate school, no
demonstrated commitment to diversity from the administration, insufficient funding avenues, and
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Colley, Kay Lynne. Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center., dissertation, May 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3687/m1/16/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .