Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 2
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Colley, Kay Lynne, Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of
recent graduates from a health science center. Doctor of Philosophy (Higher Education), May
2007, 186 pp., 6 tables, references, 112 titles.
This study used qualitative research, particularly life history analysis, to determine the
personal pathways of success for Latino students who chose to enter a health science center for
graduate study and who graduated. By giving voice to individual success stories of Latino
students, some of the influences on the life pathways of these graduates were determined. For the
purposes of this study, success was defined as graduation from a health science center with either
a doctor of philosophy, doctor of public health or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree.
Four research subjects agreed to participate in this study from a possible 11 students from
the graduating class of 2004-2005 at this health science center. Data were gathered through
multiple in-depth interviews of the students themselves over a period of no more than one month
for each participant. Data were analyzed using the mind mapping technique and Padilla's
Findings indicate that each participant traveled a different pathway to achieve educational
success although similarities did exist across participants. The influences of family background,
cultural background, educational background and personal perceptions and goals did affect the
pathways of these four Latino graduates. While three of four participants indicated that family
was the most important influence on their academic success, all participants related the
importance of family to their success, although their definitions of family seemed to vary and
included the concepts of education, culture, and personal perceptions and goals. The concepts of
family support of education and a culture of education within the family unit emerged as similar
themes among study participants. Other similarities among participants were a high academic
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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/m1/2/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .