Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Lisa Carbone

Committee Member

Candace Lacey

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative investigation was to understand the factors impacting the college transfer experiences of high achieving Hispanic transfer graduates along their path to earning a bachelor’s degree in less than six years in the Florida Public Post-Secondary System. Existing higher education literature places emphasis on Mexican born and Mexican American students since they make up the largest Hispanic group represented in the United States. The Hispanic community will be the largest minority group in the United States by the year 2060. It is vital for the social mobility and economic progress of Hispanics to earn a post-secondary education and have the necessary skills to be successful contributors to the national and global economies. The high achieving Hispanic transfer graduates who were interviewed in this study narrated their transfer experience, described barriers and challenges they faced during their undergraduate journey, and identified factors which contributed to their academic success. Hispanic students born in Cuba, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, and Venezuela were interviewed. The study participants provided valuable suggestions for administrators and faculty in higher education to assist Hispanic students be successful. Having the psychological, social, and cultural needs of Hispanic students at the forefront when designing student success and retention programs will increase the degree completion rates of Hispanic students. Some of the suggestions made by the study participants included creating a university culture that promotes listening to student’s needs, a welcome center for transfer students, and a mentoring program that would pair transfer students with current students to create a smoother transfer experience. Ultimately, this study hopes to expand and provide insight into the complexities of Hispanic students in the higher education system in the United States.

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