Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 26
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Graduate Student Success
The previous theories and studies focus on success at the undergraduate level. Few
studies have been undertaken to determine success factors at the graduate level, and none have
focused exclusively on Latino students at a health science center. The studies that have been
undertaken to study graduate student success find similarities between successful Latino
undergraduate and graduate students. In 1982, Patricia Gandara interviewed 17 Mexican
American women who had completed their graduate education, receiving JDs, MDs, or PhDs.
She found that her respondents attributed their success to persistence, hard work, equality, and
being comfortable in Anglo and Mexican worlds. In 1990, Nettles found that doctoral Hispanic
students and African American students who interact with faculty perform better in class, have
higher grade point averages, and are more satisfied with their doctoral programs than those
students who do not interact with faculty. In 1994, Cuidraz and Pierce undertook a qualitative
study to understand the experiences of Latinos in graduate school. The research described the
emotional, physical, and intellectual transformations that had occurred, resulting in graduate
school success for these students (Cuidraz and Pierce, 1994). In a publication in 2000, Morales,
who studied Latinos in doctoral programs in the 1980s, revealed emotional and intellectual
strategies used by Latino doctoral students to help succeed in their programs. She found that
students who were successful challenged pedagogy and stereotypes in the classroom and rejected
any negative messages (Morales, 2000).
The Educational Testing Service, which administers the Graduate Record Examination,
has done several studies to determine if the GRE does actually predict success in graduate
school. To do these studies, researchers at ETS asked professors from around the country what
skills and characteristics made students successful in graduate education (Enright & Gitomer,
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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/m1/36/: accessed February 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .