Students' college experiences at HSIs




Ragsdale, Jeffrey Lee

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Given the national, state and institutional focus on improving college completion rates and the need to better understand the experiences of students attending a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), the purpose of my study was to examine the experiences with campus services and success initiatives that facilitate and/or hinder the success of students who attend HSIs.

The research design for this study was focus group interview and consisted of 12 participants. The study was guided by three theoretical frameworks Sense of Belonging (Hurtado & Carter, 1997), Theory of Integration (Tinto. 1993), and Validation Theory (Rendon, 1994). Findings suggest that students attending this HSI have had positive campus experiences that enabled them to build connections to the university and create a sense of belonging. Additionally, the findings suggest that connecting to support services early and learning to navigate the university were essential to university life. Finally, student familiarity with HSI identity was explored. The implications from this study will assist those who work in higher education to make thoughtful decisions about programs and services that best facilitate student success.


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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies