Si Se Puede: an Investigation of Factors Fostering Allied Health Graduate Degree Completion for Latinos/as
Description: This study uncovers the experiences of Latinos/as in allied health graduate programs and provides vital information which may help increase the number of Latino/a healthcare providers. It focuses on the testimonios (life narratives) of 9 Latinos/as who graduated from allied health graduate programs. Academic resilience and community cultural wealth theories framed the study while testimonio methodology guided data collection. Alumni were interviewed about the personal experiences and educational journeys that led them to successfully complete graduate allied health degrees. Participants’ family background, educational history, personal and environmental factors were considered. Participants described learning about the value of education early in their lives in home and school settings. The interviews also revealed the importance of participants’ personal drive and desire to excel academically and professionally. Participants noted that the academic rigor and adjustment required to succeed in graduate allied health programs, combined with feelings of social isolation, made their transition to the graduate program challenging. Family and social networks were noted as the most supportive in regards to participants’ retention and success. Research implications include the use of methodologies and theoretical frameworks which focus on the voices and experiences of underrepresented students in the allied health professions. Implications for allied health schools include intentional recruitment of underrepresented student populations, the establishment of social support systems, student affairs offices, and the inclusion of social class, ethnicity, and cultural diversity as standards by which allied health schools are rated for accreditation and re-accreditation purposes.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Olivares-Urueta, Mayra