Successful Hispanic Male First-Time-In-College Students at a Community College in South Texas: Experiences That Facilitate Fall First-Term Student Persistence Through Official Reporting Date
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The Hispanic population continues to rapidly increase within the state of Texas as well as the nation. However, the Hispanic population educational attainment level lags behind that of the general population. Hispanic males are the lowest educated segment of society averaging less than a high school diploma. The negative long-term economic impact of such low educational attainment levels coupled with the rapid increase of the Hispanic population has been documented by Texas state demographers as well as the U.S. Census Bureau. The researcher conducted a qualitative study to inform a deeper understanding of the experiences that facilitated the persistence of 18 Hispanic male first-time-in-college students through the official reporting date of their fall first termat a community college in South Texas. An asset model and related conceptual framework, which recognized students as experts, were utilized. Focus group interviews, semi-structured interviews, and existing data were analyzed utilizing qualitative research methods. The researcher identified six overarching themes that significantly influenced the students? ability to persist. In addition, analysis of the data produced five barrier themes that these students overcame via the utilization of corresponding knowledge and actions themes. Finally, students provided recommended college changes for mitigating the barriers faced by future Hispanic male students. The researcher provided conclusions regarding Hispanic male students, recommendations for students, recommendations for colleges and universities serving Hispanic male students, recommendations for the focal community college, and implications for the theoretical model utilized. The researcher recommended expanding this research to other institutions of higher education and notes the national implications for increasing the educational attainment level of Hispanic male students.