High-Achieving Latino Students: Successful Pathways Toward College and Beyond (High-Achieving First-Generation Latino Community College Students)

Gonzalez / Information Age Publishing / April 2020

This study discusses the process by which high-achieving Latino students make college choices. Based on McDonough's (1997) college choice model and Stanton-Salazar's (2001) social capital framework, a qualitative study of 43 interviews was conducted to examine how social class, schooling experiences, and the role of families influenced college choices. Key findings revealed that the factors influencing Latino college choices are families, schools, and the perception or beliefs they form within their environments about their level of college readiness. More specifically, parents played an immense influence on students' college aspirations by providing consejos (advice) and making students aware of their stories of hardship. The parents' consejos shaped a positive outlook on life. Further, participants also found other social networks such as teachers, friends, and others who were helpful in the college enrollment process. Lastly, implications for policy and practice include early preparation for first-generation college students, K — 12 family-school collaboration, college-going cultures in the schools, and an expansion of college-prep programs.