Dissertation

High achieving Latino males' counter narratives towards success: overcoming challenges and obtaining a doctoral/professional degree to impact the community

The Latino population continues to increase in the United States and the drop out rate for Latinos is extremely high; we need to understand how to best serve this population. As Latino males move through the educational pipeline, they tend to “vanish” and are less visible and are less likely to obtain a terminal degree. The purpose of this qualitative study was to capture the counter narratives of the success of nine Latino male participants through the use of interviews. The Latino males were from different career sectors that included: Social Sciences, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and Business. The participants self identified their various career levels (Beginning, Middle, End) to provide data about the impact they had on the community upon completion of their doctoral/professional degree. These stories about their terminal degree experience were able to generate five major themes: Influences, Challenges, Persistence, Support, and Impact. Critical Race Theory was used as a lens to guide the research questions and capture counter narratives of success. The researcher included Critical Race Theory, Critical Pedagogy, Transformational Learning Theory, and Psychological Mindset as possible methods to incorporate in educational programs to enhance the learning experience of Latino males in educational settings. The Latino males’ stories counter the negative stereotypes and provide data for educators to include and support Latino males throughout their educational experience. This research study will demonstrate ways in which the influence and the support of family and educators can assist Latino males to persist past challenges to ultimately obtain their doctoral/professional degree and eventually impact the community.

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