Dissertation: Shelly Austin Hoover

Cohort 3, published 2012

Title

Perceived Factors Impacting the Education of Latino High School Students

Abstract

This study of perceived factors can serve to validate current literature on the factors impacting the education of Latino high school students. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors and perceptions of Latino high school students impacting their educational experience. Subsequently, recommendations were made in order to examine and improve practices within the high school institution.

The study used a mixed methods approach to analyze both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data were collected from Likert scale responses on a student survey and analyzed via Pearson correlation. Qualitative data were collected from written responses on a student survey and focus group transcripts and analyzed using a coding process and interrelating themes and descriptions. The analysis examined the perceived factors impacting the education of Latino high school students and their relationship to student achievement and school experience.

The researcher found that belief in self, relationships with adults and peers on campus, participation in extracurricular activities, and having a spiritual life impacted the education of Latino high school students. Quantitative analysis did not indicate race or experience of racial discrimination as significant factors. However, experience of racial discrimination was negatively correlated to the positive factors. Qualitative analysis of written responses indicated experiences racial discrimination in the third person. However in the student focus groups experiences of racial insensitivity or discrimination surfaced readily. Themes of family, friends, extracurricular activities, teachers, race, and school programs emerged during the qualitative analysis of the written responses and focus group transcripts as factors that impact the educational experience of Latino high school students. Students also reported that overall school was a positive experience.

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