Succeeding against the odds: exploring academic, social and cultural experiences that account for provisional Latinas attaining success in higher education
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of provisionally-admitted Latinas at a Hispanic-Serving Institution, and to examine the academic, social, and cultural factors that assisted or could have hindered Latina students to persist towards graduation. A provisional student was defined as a student who did not meet the regular admission standards and was accepted to a university under specific conditions that the student was required to meet within a defined time frame (Nichols & Clinedinst, 2013). The research design used in this study was a qualitative, semi-structured interview of 12 Latina students. The theoretical frameworks that guided the study were Validation Theory (Rendón, 1994), Community Cultural Wealth (Yosso, 2005), and Student /Institutional Engagement (Nora, 2003). This study arrived at three main factors that successful Latinas benefitted most: 1) employing cultural assets to transcend invalidation, 2) engaging with culturally-validating institutional life and community 3) benefitting from in- out of class validating agents. These findings will be of benefit to educators and policy leaders as they consider and make decisions about programs that can empower Latinas towards persistence and graduation.