Factors influencing academic attainment for Hispanic-American women Ph.D. recipients
AuthorGarcia, Helen Marie, 1954-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine the factors perceived by Hispanic-American women from the Southwestern United States, currently holding Ph.D. degrees from recognized colleges and universities within the United States, to have positively influenced their attainment of the Ph.D. degree. A secondary purpose of this study was to develop a profile of high achieving Hispanic-American women from the American Southwest. Although women have become more visible within higher education at all levels over the past two decades, the numbers of women holding Ph.D.s remain low. Minority and specifically Hispanic-American women's representation at doctoral levels is even lower. Furthermore, few studies on Hispanic-American educational success have been conducted, even fewer on Hispanic-American women, and fewer yet on Hispanic-American women Ph.D. recipients. Most research has used "cultural deficit models" to define and explain Hispanic-American educational achievement. Demographic, personal, and institutional data were obtained from 15 Hispanic-American women Ph.D. recipients through the use of an in-depth interview schedule constructed by the researcher, using persistence model factors developed by Tinto, Astin, Bean and Associates, Sedlacek, and Ogbu. Data collected were compared and analyzed to produce a profile of high achieving Hispanic-American women. An exploratory and descriptive approach was used to qualitatively analyze the educational ethnographic case studies. The findings reported offer new insight into the status of Hispanic-American women from the American Southwest holding Ph.D.s, as well as identifying the factors that positively influenced their attainment of the Ph.D. such as family background, grade performance, finances, outside encouragement, family responsibilities, understanding and dealing with racism, leadership, nontraditional knowledge, and acquiring standard English. This study's results provide information about the similarities and/or differences in factors perceived to influence the attainment of the Ph.D., and add a new dimension to the literature on Hispanic-Americans in higher education because of its focus on "success" rather than "failure".
Degree ProgramGraduate College