Thesis

Con un pie en cado [sic] lado: academic success in U.S. born Latinos

This study relies on qualitative methods to investigate the role of ethnic identity, home culture, and school interactions in the academic achievement of Latino male students living in San Diego, California. The primary goal was to identify themes and trends that contributed to the academic success of Latino learners living proximate to the international border. Four first-generation, U.S. born, Latino students attending high school were interviewed for this study. Through an ethnographic lens, their responses were analyzed for common themes and trends. Debunking the deficit models ascribed to Latinos and education, the findings of this study identified several themes that contributed to the students' scholarly success. Self-efficacy, autonomy, and bicultural competence were internal qualities each participant displayed. Most parents exhibited a strong commitment to the importance of education and all facilitated their son's autonomy. As for the school as institution, results were mixed. Universally cited was curriculum that consisted of rigorous college preparatory subject matter with concurrent support services such as tutorials. Yet, there was no consensus on the effectiveness of teachers. KEY WORDS: Latino, success, graduation, qualitative, interview, ethnography

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