Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 30
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predominantly enrolled in community colleges, work while attending school, are first-generation
college students, are low-income, have less academic preparation than their peers, and are
concentrated in a small number of states and institutions throughout the nation (Santiago &
The National Center for Education Statistics (1995a) identified the following risk factors
for students in attaining a college education: delaying enrollment, attending part-time, being
financially independent, being a single-parent, working full-time, caring for a dependent,
receiving a General Education Development certificate, and being a student who is classified as
first-generation within the family to attend college. Higher proportions of minorities have
multiple risk factors (NCES, 1995a). Risk factors can become barriers to higher education at all
levels, from the beginning stages of the pipeline to the doctoral or professional degree stage,
causing students to drop out.
A report commissioned by the Board of Regents for the University of California
(Hayward et al., 1997), identified some of the barriers to higher education for historically
underrepresented groups. According to the report (Hayward et al., 1997), the barriers included:
less access to information, lack of counseling and advisement to take higher level courses,
tracking and ability grouping practices, test taking requirements of universities, course-taking
patterns of students, under-prepared teachers at the secondary school level, aspirations or
expectations that are lacking because of reduced numbers of role models, cultural and family
pressures to work or marry early in life, and the cost of higher education. The report (Hayward et
al., 1997) found that students from groups with low college-going rates get inadequate support at
home, in their communities, in their high schools, and from colleges and universities. While
these barriers address issues predominantly at the undergraduate level, many of these same
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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/m1/40/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .