Factors Influencing Optimism for Degree Attainment in Latino First-Generation College Students

Romo et al. / Association of Mexican American Educators Journal / December 2020

Latino first-generation college students face a unique set of challenges that are not part of the college experience of their non-first-generation counterparts. Nonetheless, many Latino students remain optimistic about overcoming barriers that might impede their educational pursuits. The present study presented results that showed competency beliefs and persistent determination to overcome challenges significantly influences students’ optimism. In addition, strong connections with institutional agents emerged as significant contributing factors. Students who reported having close relationships with their parents also reported a greater degree of optimism about postsecondary success. Implications for programs and services to improve the college experiences of Latino first-generation student, enhance optimism, and increase retention are discussed.