Accessing an undergraduate program in the United States: Latin American male experiences and perceptions

Date
2012-01-01
Authors
von Gillern, Sam
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Isaac Gottesman
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Altmetrics
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Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract

This study examines the experiences and perceptions of Latin American males who accessed undergraduate education in the United States. Because the mobility of Latin American students pursuing higher education outside of Latin America is low (Gacel-Ávila, 2011), developing an understanding of this phenomenon is important. This is especially true because international and domestic students alike benefit from each other's participation in U.S. higher education (Obst & Forster, 2006; Winkler, 1984). This study utilizes an interview-based, qualitative approach to learn the stories of two Latin American men. Three primary themes that illuminate important aspects of their journeys emerged: viability, motivation, and perceptions of experiences. Bourdieu's (1984) forms of capital was used as a theoretical lens to interpret how the participants utilized and were motivated by economic, cultural, and social capital throughout their journeys. This study builds upon existing research and illuminates the importance for continued research to develop an understanding of Latin American access and mobility to U.S. higher education.

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