A Case Study on Perspectives by Females of Mexican Descent on Access to Postsecondary Education Information

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2014-04-30

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The purpose of this study was to provide an understanding of the process Latino parents utilize to gain access to postsecondary education information during their children?s elementary schooling. Significantly, the support Latino parents provide in terms of in terms of resources, networks, and collaborative relationships with school and community providers is of paramount importance. Focus group and individual interviews were conducted for this study. This qualitative study employed social capital as the theoretical framework premised on the work by social theorists James Coleman, Pierre Bourdieu, and Robert Putnam. Findings indicated Latino immigrant parents face challenges such as language, culture dissonance, limited education, and immigration status which deter and limit the process of negotiating access to postsecondary education. Conclusions noted that social capital was evident in the following areas: (a) critical cognizance indicated by differential connections and understanding of access to resources; (b) primacy of action characterized by intricacies of action in pursuing access, (c) misguided intentionality resulting from conflicting cultural dispositions, and (d) relational investiture that suggests lack of investing in resources for accessing higher education information. Educational leaders play an important role in the process of providing postsecondary education to parents beginning at the elementary school level. A comprehensive, parent inclusive, college access plan is critical and necessary for flow and exchange of postsecondary education information.

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