Familia First! A Qualitiative Study on the Impact of Latinx First-Generation College Students’ Degree Completion on Their Family in a U.S.-Mexico Border Community
Completing a bachelor’s degree is a major milestone. The achievement can further be heightened by those who are the first in their families to graduate. By the same token, the attainment of a degree by first-generation Latinx students, who have statistically low percentages of education as compared to other ethnic groups, is crucial. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the familial impact of Latinx first-generation degree completion. The primary research question directing the study was: How does degree completion impact families of Latinx first-generation college students in a U.S.-Mexico border community? Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) model served as an appropriate theoretical framework and provided a better understanding of the spoken experiences of research participants. Data was collected through open-ended interviews from seven Latinx first-generation college graduates and nine individual parents. Testimonio was the methodological approach used for this study. The approach gave opportunity to capture detailed documentation of how bachelor’s degree completion was formed and experienced as cultural wealth by the student and their family. As a result, five interrelated themes emerged after thorough coding and analysis of the transcribed data: (1) ability to overcome past familial barriers to education; (2) coming to the US from Mexico for their children’s education; (3) return on investment and sacrificios to the familia; (4) navigating through new spaces; and (5) opening doors for advanced degree attainment. This study raises implications for higher education research and practice.
Higher education|Hispanic American studies
Mendez, Luis Jaime, "Familia First! A Qualitiative Study on the Impact of Latinx First-Generation College Students’ Degree Completion on Their Family in a U.S.-Mexico Border Community" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27999826.