On a path to success: Experiences of Hispanic high school dropout students

Date
2010
Authors
Garza, Jorge L.
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Abstract

This study is about the lives of three low-socioeconomic Hispanic students who dropped out of high school and felt compelled to return to the school setting to earn their high school diploma. This research focused on one research question: What are the life experiences of low socio-economic Hispanic students who successfully graduated from high school in spite of having dropped out along the way?

The researcher used qualitative research to study the life histories of low-socioeconomic Hispanic students who dropped out of high school and felt compelled to return to the school setting to earn their high school diploma. Observations, photos taken by the participants, and interviews composed the data collection procedures. Data was collected with a focus on the participants' life stories. Secondary sources included parents, family members, teachers, peers, and other individuals who were significant in the participants' lives. The primary form of interpreting the data was by using a narrative discussion strategy.

The findings using a critical lens imply that the public education system has done a disservice to the participants as well as many other students like them. The findings resulted in five emergent themes: (1) Status quo in schools continue to under serve Hispanic students, (2) Background influencing the Hispanic students path to success, (3) Motivators and support systems that work, (4) Negative and positive school personnel expectations for Hispanic students, (5) Path of success for Hispanics depend on having some coping mechanisms.

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This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff.
Keywords
Advocates, Dropout, Expectations, Hispanic, Resiliency, Social Capital
Citation
Department
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies