Factors that motivate Latino students to pursue higher education in selected colleges in the state of Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ng451k789

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  • Latinos are the largest and most rapidly growing ethnic minority in the United States, and they have the highest dropout rates of any major ethnic group in the country (U.S. Department of Labor, 2003). Latinos' educational attainment is consistently lower than that of other students (Gandara, 2008). The majority of Latino college students in the state of Oregon are of Mexican origin and have parents with low income and low levels of education, which ultimately influences the students' decisions in whether or not to pursue higher education. This study examines these and other factors which motivate Latino students to pursue higher education in selected colleges in the state of Oregon. Quantitative data was gathered and evaluated to determine their academic self-efficacy, an idea grounded in Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura 1997). Accordingly, this dissertation analyzed personal, environmental, and demographic factors as determinants of the academic self-efficacy of Latino college students. The results indicated that mothers (family being one of the environmental factors) were the most motivating persons for Latino college students pursuing higher education, followed by the influence of friends. The results also revealed that another influencing factor in academic self-efficacy of Latino college students was their own self-efficacy and their personal goal orientation. Female students reported the highest scores of self-efficacy for a four-year institution, followed by students of both genders aged between 18 and 22 years old. Latino college students' choice of agriculture as a program to pursue in higher education was also analyzed, despite the fact that the majority (92 %) of Latino college students did not choose an agriculture-related career.
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