Participation, persistence, and progression : motivating factors in the success of Hispanic community college students who moved from mastering English as a second language to a certificate or degree program Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dn39x5840

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  • This interpretive research sought to understand how eight Hispanic students who mastered English as a Second Language (ESL) matriculated at a rural community college, and what motivating factors encouraged or encumbered their academic persistence and success. Particularly the study focused on student backgrounds, motivations, and persistence factors influencing their success. Participants were chosen as follows: + Spanish is their first language. + English is their second language. + They are over the age of 21. + They are or were enrolled in a certificate or degree program. + They had earned at least 21 credits at a community college. + They had a grade point average of at least 2.0. In-depth student interviews, conversations with staff, and examination of student records supplied data for the progression of case records. Data analysis resulted in the generation of eight hypotheses for academic success: (a) participatory learning; (b) appropriate support system, such as developmental classes, tutoring services, and mentoring instructors; (c) trust in the educational system; (d) social integration, (e) English and Spanish language fluency; (0 use of personal and community resources to combat racism; (g) family support; and (h) financial backing. Redacted for Privacy Theoretical frameworks used for data collection and analysis primarily were those of Paulo Freire and Margaret Wheatley. Both espoused participatory learning and leadership. I also found the literature that focused on multiculturalism valuable. The study revealed that Hispanic ESL students persisted despite major obstacles which might have been devastating. They had ethnic bias to overcome and the need to master the English language. Some were working single parents, some in full-time jobs. The initiative to become economically self-sufficient and to maintain a strong trust in education empowered students to persist and succeed. Participants supplied proof that Hispanic ESL students can succeed in community college when there is an appropriate support system. The study suggests that although the elements for moving toward multiculturalism are being put in place, they are not, as yet, attaining the necessary synthesis. The criteria for efficient use of participatory learning, improved curricula and environment, and administration committed to developing self-efficacy of ESL students are necessary conditions for success.
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