Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 28
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graduate school. These are skills that faculty members said were important for students to
develop for their subsequent professional roles: communication, creativity, explanation,
motivation, planning, professionalism, and synthesis.
Gregory M. Attiyeh (1999) hypothesized that variables such as student aptitude and
achievement, financial support, demographic characteristics, and the characteristics of the
student's degree program explained persistence at the doctoral level. Using longitudinal data on
students enrolled in doctoral programs in five disciplines: biochemistry, economics, English,
mathematics, and mechanical engineering from 1989 to 1993, Attiyeh concluded some
generalities, although there were wide differences across disciplines. Students with certain
characteristics were more likely to persist at more selective institutions. These characteristics
were greater financial support, higher GRE verbal or quantitative scores, and a master's degree.
Variables such as citizenship, gender, ethnicity, and age were not consistently related across the
disciplines studied. Attiyeh was careful to differentiate between persistence and success in
doctoral studies, noting that persistence is akin to retention, which is "a key element both in the
success of students and in the effectiveness of doctoral programs" (p. 1). Previous studies on
predicting success in doctoral programs cited in Attiyeh's study were from Zwick and Braun in
1988 and Zwick alone in 1991. Both studies were advanced prior to the initiation of the Hispanic
Serving Institutions Act, which passed in 1993 with the reauthorization of the Higher Education
Act. The first study from Zwick and Braun (1988) did not analyze differences associated with
success based on minority group status. The second study conducted by Zwick alone in 1991 did
find that there were higher rates of success for white students relative to underrepresented
minority students at the doctoral level.
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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/m1/38/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .