Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teaching , Learning and Culture


Judith M. Munter


The purpose of this study was to describe the lived experiences of first-generation Latin@ students who participated as rising high school seniors in a summer bridging program on a university campus. The university is located on the U.S. Mexico border and is a Hispanic Serving Institution. This topic is worthy of research due to the growing numbers of Hispanic youth in the U.S. and a college enrollment rate that is not keeping pace. While there is a growing base of knowledge regarding first-generation college goers, there is little research regarding the impact of summer bridging programs located on a university campus on the aspirations of high school seniors to attend a postsecondary institution. There is also little research on the impact of attending college for first-generation Latin@ college goers and social mobility.

The theoretical frameworks that guided the study were Critical Race Theory/LatCrit Theory and Borderland Community Cultural Wealth. A phenomenological approach was used to examine the meaning participation in the bridging program had for the four participants in the study with data collected through three interviews with each participant and a focus group. This study reveals the value for students of participation in a bridging program while still in high school, the impact of the content on their readiness to transition into college, the necessity of support from families, and the impact attending college has on their opportunities for social mobility. The findings of this research project will be of benefit to educators and policy makers as they plan programs to enable first-generation Latin@ college goers to successfully transition from high school to a postsecondary education.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

315 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Sheryl Cox Maxsom