Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 29
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Pauley, Cunningham, and Toth (1999) found that among students completing a doctorate
in education administration from the West Virginia University-Marshall University Cooperative
Doctoral Program, a non-traditional EdD program, factors that related to completion of the
degree were financial support, familial support, peer support, faculty support, chairperson
support, and the motivation of the student. While some of these variables are found to be
significant indicators of the success of all doctoral students, this particular study was very
focused in its sample, leading to an inability to generalize the finding to this study.
Barriers to Success in Higher Education for Latino Students
Currently, Latinos are the least-educated racial group, with just over 11% of Latinos age
25 and older holding a bachelor's degree (Schmidt, 2003). In the same age bracket, 17% of
African Americans, 27% of whites, and 47% of Asian Americans hold a bachelor's degree
(Schmidt, 2003). According to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, this
presents a nationwide problem since projections for growth in the Latino population will result in
an under-educated, rapidly growing population in the US, comprised of predominantly Latinos
(HACU "The Increasing Presence," 2000). This section will review the barriers to success for
Latino students, looking at the literature from undergraduate through graduate education to see
how the examples of barriers to higher education fit into the literature on minority, particularly
Latino, success in higher education.
Undergraduate Student Barriers to Success
So just where are Latinos in higher education today? According to a report from the Pew
Hispanic Center, (2004), Latino students are non-traditional. As a group, Latinos are
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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/m1/39/: accessed February 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .