Latino success stories in higher education: A qualitative study of recent graduates from a health science center. Page: 35
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conjunction with the previous findings that self-concept and motivation are the largest
determinants of minority student success, Grandy's (1998) findings put discrimination as the
most lethal barrier for minority students. Since a graduate education at a health science center
offers a leap for all students, especially minority students, many of these same barriers can be
pointed to in the transition to this specific graduate institution.
Graduate Student Barriers to Success
A survey undertaken by Tam and Rousseau (2000-2001), questioned minority students
pursuing a master's degree in special education at an urban university and echoed some of
McGregor's (2003) findings. The variables that students said affected their ability to pursue
doctoral study were finances, family responsibilities, intellectual challenge, and self-confidence
(Tam & Rousseau, 2000-2001). A recent article by Mellander (2005) outlines some of the
barriers that still exist for Latino students entering a medical school. While overt discrimination
ended with the 1960s, attitudes change less quickly. Entrenched patterns still exist, especially
when it comes to institutions steeped in tradition, such as medical schools (Mellander, 2005).
Barriers at a health professions school, which includes health science centers, still include an
over-reliance on standardized testing in the admissions process, an unsupportive institutional
culture once admitted to graduate school, no demonstrated commitment to diversity from the
administration, insufficient funding avenues, and a lack of effective mentors (Mellander, 2005).
This list by Mellander leaves out the issues of cultural barriers or English-language skills that
might exist for minority students, Latino students in particular.
Latino students may face many barriers, which inhibit their opportunities for higher
education success (HACU, "The Increasing Presence," 2000). When Padilla (n.d.) makes the
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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/m1/45/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .