The real wall : a qualitative case study to explore Latino graduation rates and the lack of necessary resources available.
Latino attainment of bachelor’s degrees is a crucial problem facing society today within the United States of America. If this issue continues, the future impact on society will influence the average annual household income in the United States. Researchers have proposed a series of possible solutions and honed in on contributing factors of this problem. The purpose of this multiple case study was to understand how Latino college students utilize and understand available institutional resources. Latino college students continue to not graduate with a bachelor’s degree for a plethora of reasons. Current solutions have not gone far enough to remedy the problem as the issue persists. Different analyses of possible contributing factors have helped to serve institutional agendas but have not addressed the problem. The literature suggests certain aspects of family background and culture impact the persistence of Latino college students. For this study, persistence’s definition was the continued path towards a bachelor’s degree. This study was rooted in utilizing elements of LatCrit as a guiding lens to codify thematic data collected in person-to-person interviews. Additionally, LatCrit contexts served to inform the pre-written questions. LatCrit focuses on the experiences internalized by Latinas/os within society. These experiences continue to impact Latino students throughout different stages of their education life. This study consisted of seven Latino participants interviewed in one-on-one video conferencing meetings. The participants attended a mid-sized college in the Northeast United States. The participants selected identified as Latino/a, Hispanic, or of South America or Central American heritage. The major themes found were that the advisement center, tutoring center, and career center serve as the most critical resources at an institution toward Latino student achievement. Family dynamics and expectations, financial status, and self-advocacy emerged as the most common lived experiences among Latino students that influenced their utilization of valuable resources for continued persistence. The results discovered in this study found that Latino students understood essential resources necessary toward graduation but often encountered barriers when attempting to utilize these offices. Additional results found that overcoming trauma and financial shortcomings was critical in resource utilization as participants understood their finite opportunities for achievement.