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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Barriers to access and succeeding in college: perceptions of a group of Midwestern urban Latino youth.

Author: Marsiglia, F.F
Author Background:
Date 1/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Poverty
Volume/Pages 2(2): 69-82
Subject Matter Latino
Abstract This paper explores the perceptions of a group of Latino youth in regards to their chances of gaining access to and succeeding in college. The study was conducted in a major Midwestern city to understand why Latino enrollment and degree completion in area colleges were low. In order to assess Latino student perceptions, community forums and structured questions were used. Respondents had a shared perception that Latino students were not welcome at area colleges. Latino youth and their families identified a series of logistic, cultural specific, and self-efficacy barriers that impeded them from fully benefiting from a college education. Young women and men who had not yet experienced college life were very positive about pursuing a post-secondary education. However, students who were already enrolled in college had a rather negative view of their experience and of their chances of succeeding. Recommendations for improvement provided by the respondents ranged from language and culturally specific information campaigns directed toward the whole Latino family to cultural awareness training for faculty and other college personnel who were identified as gatekeepers. (Journal abstract.)