Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 31
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barriers can be seen as Latino students move from the community college level to a four-year
institution and ultimately to graduate or professional school.
A group of scholars from the University of Texas at Dallas published research on the
barriers that discourage some first-generation Latino students from pursuing educational
opportunities beyond community colleges. Many of these barriers continue to exist through the
graduate level. The researchers (McGregor, 2003) cited these factors as barriers to transfer by
Latinos at community colleges: low income and the need for more than one breadwinner in the
family; students' unfamiliarity with educational requirements and the transfer process; a cultural
view that often discourages women from pursuing higher education; lack of role models within
higher education and others who might serve as mentors; improper documentation and lack of
residency status; difficulty of transferring credits from foreign institutions; and institutions' rules,
regulations, and values that are often foreign concepts to students who are immigrants or
children of immigrants. Several studies (Allen, 1999; Cardoza, 1991; Hurtado, 1992 & 1994;
Loo & Rolison, 1986; Nora & Cabrera, 1996; Smedley, Myers, & Harrell, 1993; Solberg, 1993)
have found that the barriers that most impede minority student success include poor self-concept
and an understanding of racism and the ability to cope with it [stress management] in an
academic setting. Racism and discrimination have been found to impede the cognitive and
affective development of minority students, resulting in marginalization (Smedley, Myers &
Harrell, 1993; Smith, 1989 & 1992).
In a national survey of Latinos initiated by the Pew Hispanic Center (2004), Latinos cited
the costs of education, discrimination, and the desirability of staying close to family as major
reasons for why people fail to finish college. Almost 60% of the Latinos surveyed also said that
receiving a poor high school education is the major reason why people do not get a college
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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/m1/41/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .