Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 22
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numbers of older students and minority students. Pascarella and Terenzini's (1991) assertion that
such theories or models were developed during a time of different higher education
demographics rings true when looking at how Latino graduate students have been integrated into
the academy. Since Latino students at all levels often start in a position of marginality at
institutions of higher education, their integration into the academy can be even more difficult and
tenuous. The intersection or dichotomy presented by success and barriers is the heart of this
study and will be explored first through the literature on these two constructs.
The Secrets of Success
Successful minority graduate students do emerge despite the barriers to higher education.
People define success in a variety of ways, but almost all of these definitions have to do with
attaining a goal. While success for this study is defined as graduation, many studies and theories
equate success with persistence. Tinto (1987) refers to this idea of persistence in the context of
success in his theory of college student departure. Several studies have looked at the essential
ingredients for graduate school success, and several graduate students have penned books,
articles, and helpful Websites detailing what they did that led to their graduate success (Alire,
1997; Enright & Gitomer, 1989; Greene, 2002; Pace, 1980; Padilla, n.d.; Tinto, 1998). This
section will review characteristics of success, looking at the literature from undergraduate
through graduate education to see how the examples of successful graduate students at a health
science center used as study participants fit into previous studies on success.
Undergraduate Student Success
Some characteristics known as obstacles or barriers to college student success can be
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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/m1/32/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .