Community Cultural Wealth and Latina/o Student Success: An Examination of Community Cultural Wealth in a Multicontextual Model of Latina/o 4-Year College Enrollment




Ozuna, Clarissa R.

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The collective educational gains made by Latina/os since 1980 are not only noteworthy because they document the social transformation of a population but because they seemingly challenge what we know about contributing factors to student success. As a whole, Latina/o students are achieving higher levels of education despite their stagnant or declining overall social and environmental condition. The extant quantitative literature has yet to identify the individual student characteristics capable of moderating the negative impact of these persistent trends. This research begins to address this gap by considering a multicontextual and culturally relevant model of Latina/o student success that integrates the unique and qualitatively supported values and experiences of Latina/o students into quantitative methods.

Drawing upon Yosso's (2005) community cultural wealth (CCW) framework and Perna and Thomas' (2008) multicontextual model of student success, this research sought to answer the question, What role does community cultural wealth have in Latina/o 4-year college enrollment after high school? To do so, three specific aims were met: operationally define and describe the multidimensional concept of CCW for Latina/o students; evaluate the extent to which CCW is associated with 4-year college enrollment in Latina/o students; and examine CCW as a moderator of school-level characteristics within a multicontextual model of 4-year college enrollment.

By operationalizing measures of CCW, this study demonstrated that a qualitatively defined construct of social and cultural capital can be effectively operationalized using existing data. Further, this study provided empirical evidence that Latina/o student social and cultural capital is multidimensional and culturally specific. Findings suggest that measures of CCW are positively related to Latina/o 4-year college enrollment and that the influence of the CCW measures outweigh the influence of school-level characteristics.


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college enrollment, community cultural wealth, Latino, student success