Voices to be heard : narrative research of undocumented Latino students in Oregon community colleges Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9593tz15j

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  • Community colleges have become a practical educational option for undocumented students seeking an associate degree; thus reflecting the community college's very mission and purpose by providing access and affordability for these students. Specifically, undocumented Latino students are known to select community colleges due to their low tuition cost, proximity to their home, ease of access, etc. (Hernandez et al., 2010). This research study focused on undocumented Latino students for, as a leading scholar notes, "undocumented Latino students in higher education represent a resilient, determined, and inspirational group of high achievers who persevere and serve as a model for success" (Contreras, 2009, p. 610). The purpose of this study was to explore, through their own voices, the community college experiences of undocumented Latino students in Oregon. The Pew Hispanic Center found approximately 22% of the estimated 150,000 undocumented residents of Oregon stand to benefit from the DREAM Act (Passel & Cohn, 2011). A qualitative methodology was used in this study that provided a philosophical approach that allowed for meaning to emerge from the data. A Latino Critical Theory (LatCrit) perspective was used to frame this study. By approaching this research through the lens of LatCrit theory, the factors affecting marginalized undocumented students were highlighted. Working from a social justice perspective, the researcher’s goal was to provide information that may be useful to individual study participants, other undocumented students, and to the institutions that enroll these students. This study aimed to provide a means for addressing a social justice matter, the education of undocumented community college Latinos. It emphasizes the complex experiences and identities of Latinos, including language rights, immigration, citizenship, ethnicity, and gender (González & Portillos, 2007; Hernandez-Truyol, 1997; Montoya, 1994; Martinez, 1994). The intent of this study was not make far-reaching generalizations applicable to all community college undocumented Latino students, but to find themes that could support some of their experiences better that ultimately could lead to completion of an associate's degree. The study found that eight themes emerged as a result of the data analysis: 1. Support from Family and Community 2. Overcoming Obstacles 3. Cultural Informant 4. Finding Place: Formal and Informal Networks 5. Involvement 6. Barriers that Intersect 7. Identity as Undocumented 8. Resiliency This study attempted to define academic success of the eight participants by identifying the practices and support systems community colleges are using to help undocumented Latino students navigate their systems. Because of the focus on the lived experiences of undocumented Latino students, a qualitative approach referred to as testimonios was utilized for addressing the research questions, thus a platform for the voices of this marginalized population to expand the understanding of those who would hear them was created. This study revealed the conclusions that emerged from the testimonios as well as give recommendations for practice and further research. The study found that family support, creating community, understanding practitioners' roles, and having hope and resiliency aided in the persistence and retention of the participants. Freire (1970) stated in order to liberate and change the conditions in which individuals live, they must be empowered to do so. These eight participants narratives are a testament to what occurs to individuals if given the space to be empowered and change their conditions. The testimonios revealed their lived experiences as they completed an associate’s degree. Their testimonios challenged the narrative that undocumented people are a burden to society. Their voices challenge the dominant narrative that undocumented people do not have a voice.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2015-03-25T17:06:23Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) IvelisseBrenda2015.pdf: 994154 bytes, checksum: 17964c96b437f5bdde262c4a36b3faa2 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2015-03-25T17:31:33Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) IvelisseBrenda2015.pdf: 994154 bytes, checksum: 17964c96b437f5bdde262c4a36b3faa2 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2015-03-25T17:31:33Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) IvelisseBrenda2015.pdf: 994154 bytes, checksum: 17964c96b437f5bdde262c4a36b3faa2 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2015-03-17
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Brenda Ivelisse (maldonab@onid.orst.edu) on 2015-03-24T03:44:18Z No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5) IvelisseBrenda2015.pdf: 994154 bytes, checksum: 17964c96b437f5bdde262c4a36b3faa2 (MD5)

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