Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 20
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According to two minority students, some of the barriers do transfer to graduate school.
Camila Alire (1997) said that family and extended family play a large role in the lives of
minority students, even providing students with the motivation they need to succeed in life. "The
family is so important to minority students because it helps these young people develop and
maintain self-esteem and self-confidence and to maintain their identity" (p. 41). This devotion to
family runs so deep, according to Alire (1997), that students often make their decisions about
what college to attend based on distance from family, with close proximity to family being the
preference. When graduate education comes into play, the support that many minority families
have given for undergraduate education evaporates. Family members don't want the student to
move away and pursue a different lifestyle, which could be seen as a rejection of family and
culture. Minority students also face the double-edged sword of feeling isolated once they do
move away to pursue their graduate education, since their main support system, the family, will
be far away (Alire, 1997).
Kamala A.I. Greene (2002) not only discusses the isolation associated with being a
minority student at a predominantly white institution, Greene offers tips for graduate students on
ways to cope with feelings of doubt and despair as well as isolation that can be barriers to
success. Greene (2002) tells minority students to choose battles wisely, find a mentor, stay in
touch with other minority graduate students, remember long-term goals, and use white allies.
While the study of barriers to traditional higher education success can lead to an
understanding of how and why students have overcome these barriers, study of success using this
tactic takes a negative view of success by focusing on barriers or obstacles. While the role of
barriers and obstacles does provide a point of differentiation between those who have opted-out
of higher education or quit and those who have persisted, the idea of success can be viewed from
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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/m1/30/: accessed February 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .