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Fuerth, Katherine M.
Resiliency in academically successful Latina doctoral students :
b implications for advocacy
h [electronic resource] /
by Katherine M. Fuerth.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 167 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Research indicates that the Latina/o population is growing in the United States, and more Latina/os are attending college, many do not continue their education beyond the undergraduate level, much less beyond the Master's level. Latinas in particular continue to be underrepresented in professional roles due to the small number of Latinas who obtain doctoral degrees. Although many Latinas do not continue their education or drop-out throughout their graduate schooling, some Latinas do thrive forward and are academically successful. This study aimed at identifying elements that fostered resiliency in academically successful Latina doctoral students, as well as identifying challenges or barriers that some Latinas experience. Findings indicate some support for Bernard's resiliency theory, while also providing implications for advocacy for Latina doctoral students.
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Co-advisor: Herbert A. Exum, Ph.D.
Co-advisor: Wilma J. Henry, Ed.D.
x Psychological and Social Foundations
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Resiliency in Academically Successful Latina Doctoral Students: Implications for Advocacy by Katherine M. Fuerth A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychological and Social Foundations College of Education University of South Florida Co Major Professor: Herbert A. Exum, Ph.D. Co Major Professor: Wilma J. Henry, Ed.D. Carlos Zalaquett, Ph.D. Barbara Shircliffe, Ph.D. Rosemary Closson Ph.D. Date of Approval: July 23 2008 Keywords: qualitative, Hispanic female college, graduate student Copyright 2008, Katherine M. Fuerth
Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to my Abuelito, Carlos Lopez (1919 2007), who worked so hard for us to have a better life, may he rest in peace. Also
i Table of Contents List of Figures v List of Tables v i Abstract v i i Preface vii i Chapter One Introduction 1 Background of the Problem 1 Statemen t of the Problem 3 Significance of the S tudy 3 Purpose of the Study 4 Questions Guiding the Inquiry 5 Conceptual Assumptions 5 Conceptual Framework 6 Resiliency Theory 6 Resiliency Research Recommendations 12 Definition of Major Terms 13 Scope and Delimitation of the Study 13 Over view of Di ssertation Chapters 14 Chap ter Two Literature Review 15 Intr oduction 15 19 29 Summary 35 Chapter Three Me thod ology 36 Questions Guiding the Inquiry 3 6 Design of the Study 37 Major Assumptions 37 Description of Sample 38 Instruments 39 Data Collection Procedure s 41 The Researcher 44 Cuban American Latina 44
ii Second Generation 45 Doctoral Candidate 4 5 Twenty Eight Year Old 46 Psychotherapist 46 Research Verification 46 Credibility 47 Triangulation 47 Peer Debriefing 47 Referential Adequacy 48 Member Checking 48 Transferability 49 Thick Descriptions 49 Dependability 49 Inquiry Audit 49 Con firmability 49 Audit Trail 49 Data Analysis 49 Su mmary 51 Chapter Four Results 52 Researcher Bias 54 Within C ase Analysis 55 Molly 55 Telephone Screening 55 First Impressions 55 Educational Background 56 Educational Experiences 56 Personal Charac teristics: Taking Initiative 57 Star 58 Telephone Screening 58 First Impressions 58 Educational Background 59 Educational Experiences 59 Personal Characteristics: Perseverence 60 Gypsy 60 Telephone Screening 60 First Impressions 61 Educational Backgroun d 62 Educational Experiences 62 Personal Characteristics: Committment 62 Raquel 63 Telephone Screening 63 First Impressions 63 Educational Background 63 Educational Experiences 64
iii Personal Characteristics: Obligation 64 Carolina 64 Telephone Screening 64 First Impressions 65 Educational Background 65 Educational Experiences 65 Personal Characteristics: Innate Desire 66 Genesis 66 Telephone Screening 66 First Impressions 67 Educational Background 67 Educational Experiences 67 Personal Characte ristics: Independence 68 Across C ase Analysis 68 Domain One: Overall Reacti on to Educational Experiences 69 General Impressions 69 Barriers and Struggles 73 Positive Characteristics 76 78 Concept of Soc ial Competence 78 Concept of Problem Solving 80 Concept of Autonomy 81 Concept of Sense of Purpose 82 Domain Three: I mpact on Academic Persistence 85 Greatest Supports 85 Motivating Factors 88 Domain Four: Recommendations 89 Suggested Change s 89 Advice to Students 94 Summary 97 Chapter Fiv e Summary and Conclusions 98 Statement of the Problem 99 Methodology 99 Findings 100 Domain One: Overall Reaction to Educational Experiences 100 Domain Two: Component s o 103 Domain Three: Im pact on Academic Persistence 105 Domain Four: Recommendations 109 Participant S pecific Themes 111 Contributions of this Study 114 Recommendat ions for Advocacy 115 Recomme ndat ions for Additional Research 116 Limitations 117 Conclusion s 118
iv References 120 Appendices 130 Appendix A: Fl yer to Solicit Participants 131 Appendix B: Selection Criteria for Study 132 Append ix C: Phone Screening Interview 133 Append ix D: L etter to Participants 135 Appen dix E: Informed Consent Form 136 13 9 Appendix G: Interview Script 141 Appendix H: Follow U p Email to Participants 144 Appendix I: Clarification o f Researcher Bias 145 Append ix J: Demographic Questionnaire 146 Appendix K: Interview Field Notes 148 About the Author End Page
v List of Figures Figure 1. Cyclical Resiliency Framework 11 Figure 2. Categories and Themes in Domain One 70 Figure 3. Categories and Th emes in Domain Three 89 Figure 4. Categories and Themes in Domain Four 96
vi List of Tables Table 1 Comparison of Resiliency Theoretical Concepts to that 9 27 Table 3. 33 Table 4. Domains and Categories of Data Analysis 53 Table 5. Resiliency Concepts by Participant 84 Table 6. Themes Related to the educational Experiences of Latinas 102 Table 7. E lements that Fostered Resiliency in Latina Doctoral Students 107 Table 8. Recommendations of Latina Doctoral Students 110 Table 9. in Doctoral Programs 112
vii Resiliency in Academically Successful Latina Doctoral Students: Implications for Advocacy Katherine M. Fuerth ABSTRACT Research indicates that the Latina/o population is growing in the United States, and mor e Latina/os are attending college, many do not continue their education beyond continue to be underrepresented in professional roles due to the small number of Latinas who obtain doctoral degrees. Although many Latinas do not continue their education or drop out throughout their graduate schooling, some Latinas do thrive forward and are academically successful. This study aimed at identifying elements that fostered resilienc y in academically successful Latina doctoral students, as well as identifying challenges or barriers that some Latinas experience. resiliency theory, while also providing implications for advocacy for Latina doc toral students.
viii Preface First and foremost I want to thank God for holding my hand and guiding me through all of the challenges I have faced in the last ten years of my schooling and for opening new doors of opportunity for me each time one closed I would also like to thank my parents and grandparents, for being such positive role models and believing in me, while reminding me of how proud they were of my accomplishments each step of the way. Their unconditional love, endless support, and encourag ement have helped me in my success. I want to thank my younger siblings and cousins for inspiring in me the desire to be a positive role model and setting new standards in our family. n for my friends, my soul sisters. Amy Menna, your dedication to our field is contagious. Thank you for always answering my late night phone calls when I questioned my abilities to finish and for helping me hone my skills as a professional. You have been a true friend. Lee Teufel, your empathy, consistent reassurance, and encouragement helped me regain aola Rojas, and vent while helping me cope during this process. Also, I would like to extend thanks to both my friends, Charles (Chad) Anthony, II and Spencer Cordell. Sp encer, your continuous encouragement is very much appreciated. Chad, I want to thank you for
ix always supporting me and challenging me to grow through this process. I would like to thank the many teachers, professors, mentors, and role models who inspired m e to go into academia and into the field of counseling, especially Mrs. Busher, Mr. Campaign, Dr. Rath, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Richard, and Dr. Kubiak. Also, thank you to Rod Hale at USF for his continuous support and advocacy on my behalf. I would not have gon like to thank my Committee Members. Dr. Herbert Exum, thank you for creating a welcoming environment for me to call home these last three years. Your wisdom and stability are admirable. You always made me feel as if I had nothing to worry about. me succeed. Dr. Wilma Henry for being a powerful female role model in my life. I aspire to be as strong as y ou are. Thank you for always being flexible and understanding. Thank you for being interested in me and excited about my ideas along the way. helping me network with others and find meaning in what I was doing. Thank you for all of the incredible opportunities you have given me to help me succeed. Dr. Barbara Shircliffe, you always ch allenged me to think critically and I thank you for that. Thank you for instilling in me the self confidence that I needed to help me get more involved socially on campus and for the opportunities to advocate for others. Dr. Rosemary Closson, for your kind words of encouragement and feedback with my dissertation, thank you. Dr. Barbara Cruz, I do not believe that your presence at my proposal defense was a coincidence. That presence alone encouraged me to push forward through the dissertation
x process. Thank you for being a successful Latina role model in my life. To all of my clients and students who have inspired me to continue my research story with me and reminding me o I wish you success. Lastly, I would like to thank the six Latinas who volunteered to participate in this study. I have shed many tears of joy as I read and re read your stories. Meeting you and hearing your stories was cath
1 Chapt er One Introduction Background of the P roblem As of 2003, statistics illustrate a growing number of Latina/os attending college; however, the numbers are considerably low er compared to their African American and Anglo American counterparts. It is known that 10% of Latina/os obtain a college d egree in the United States as opposed to 18% of African Americans and 34% of Anglo Americans (McWhirter, Torres, Salgado, & Valdez, 2007). Moreover, compared to non Latina/o Anglos, Latina/os are less likely to attend college, have less representation in h igher education, and have higher drop out rates (Arellano & Padilla, 1996; Vasquez, 2002). When compared to Anglo Caucasian females, many Latinas in particular have 200 6). Due to familial obligations and expectations, some Lati nas have a possibility of developing mental health problems and experiencing negative school outcomes as they steer through the educational system (Sy, 2006). Some of these women are also at risk o f dropping out of college due to the conflict between their cultural beliefs and values and that of their surrounding environment (Sy ) Accordingly, this conflict can result in academic non persistence (Gloria & Rodriguez, 2000). Researchers have studied
2 to pursue a college degree as well as those variables that impact her decision not to go to college or complete her college education (Gloria, Castellanos, Lopez, & Rosales, 2005). Among the variable s affecting drop out decisions are: poor student adjustment to the university environment, prejudice, financial related stress, poor academic preparation minority status, acculturation pressures gender/cultural expectations, discrimination, and culture s hock (Gloria, Castellanos, Lopez, & Rosales, 2005). In a report provided by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigators indicate that 90% of the fastest growing jobs require a post secondary education ( GAO 2007). This government repor t also indicates that individuals who million dollars more over their lifetime than those individuals who only hold a high school diploma ( GAO ). This is important informa tion because, historically, Latina/os have had low college graduation rates and few obtain a graduate education. Between 2006 and 2007, enrollment of Latina/os in 2 year colleges increased by 4 %, however, their enrollment in 4 year colleges decreased by 2% ( GAO ). This decrease of enrollment in 4 year colleges may be due to greater costs endured at 4 year colleges versus 2 year colleges. Regardless, this decrease in enrollment of 4 year programs should elicit a societal concern because research indicates tha t individuals lacking an education who live in poverty face greater healthcare problems and mental health problems (Gloria, Castellanos, Lopez, & Rosales 2005; GAO 2007). In addition, Latina/os have historically faced cultural challenges such as oppressio n in society; hence, it is important for educational systems to empower Latinas by helping them foster resiliency skills that will help them succeed in their educational endeavors. Moreover, there is a need for greater
3 representation of Latinas in professi onal roles. For example, Latinas only account for .05 percent of faculty in colleges and universities across the U.S. This underrepresentation further reflects a need for advocacy. Statement of the P roblem Although there is a growing population of Latina/ os in the U.S., the numbers of Latina/os attending college and obtaining graduate degrees are considerably lower when compared to their counterparts. It appears that Latina/o college students might be faced with additional educational barriers than their A nglo counterparts and may have common external factors or characteristics that impact their academic achievement. In the United States, Latinas in particular are underrepresented in professional roles. This is perhaps indicative of an educational problem a nd suggests a need for greater advocacy efforts for this population. Although a large majority of Latinas choose not to attend college, and many do drop out, there are some Latinas who thrive in higher education and are academically successful. Success fa ctors for Latina students who complete a college education and obtain a college degree include: familial support, influence of peers who exhibit college survival skills, cultural congruity with their college environment, and faculty and staff mentors; part icularly Latina/o faculty and staff who have successfully achieved their academic goals (Gloria, Castellanos, Lopez, & Rosales, 2005; Gonzalez, 2005). It is important that we learn more about these variables and others that help Latinas succeed. Significan ce of the S tudy It is important for educators, educational institutions, and counselors to become aware of the factors that foster resiliency in Latina doctoral students in order to advocate
4 Given the dismal achievement data on Latinas in particular, it is important to gain a further understanding of the variables contributing to their success in graduate school. Previous researchers (Gloria, Castellanos, Lopez, & Rosales, 2005) recommend ge nder focused studies in this area to further identify the Latina cultural expectations and socialization patterns. Much of the past research has focused on the barriers that Latinas face throughout their collegiate education. Rather than focusing on the ba rriers to academic success, new research is needed to explore the reasons that some Latinas do succeed academically and go so far as obtaining doctoral degrees. Accordingly, t his study will address both risk factors as well as factors that aid in the succe ss of Latina college students. Findings may help institutions develop programs that target Latina college students for both recruitment and retention. It will also provide implications for advocacy. Purpose of the S tudy The purpose of this study is to con duct a qualitative investigation regarding variables or characteristics that build resiliency in Latinas who persist academically during their doctoral studies. This study will review the current literature on resiliency among Latinas in education and exam ine the factors that foster resiliency in Latina doctoral students. It is hoped that this study will contribute to the current literature by providing educational systems with new insights on the factors influencing the academic success of Latinas in educa tion, particularly those who obtain doctoral degrees. I choose to study Latinas in doctoral programs because of the underrepresentation of this population in higher education.
5 The results from this study will help to inform educational systems about fact ors contributing to this underrepresentation as well as the types of programs or efforts needed to attract and retain Latina doctoral students. Questions G uiding the I nquiry Several fundamental questions guide this inquiry: (a) What were the educational experiences of Latina doctoral students during their undergraduate and graduate studies ( b ) What personality traits or characteristics do these successful Latinas possess? ( c ) es a her academic success? ( d ) What are the motivations of Latinas who seek entrance into doctoral programs? ( e ) What experiences did these Latinas have upon entering their doctoral programs? Additionally, specific questions will be asked of par ticipants to highlight their personal experiences and gain a greater understanding of their schooling experiences, support system, and resiliency skills (See Appendices F & G). Conceptual A ssumptions There are several assumptions underlying the purpose of this study. First, many Latinas will not attain higher educational goals such as completing a doctoral degree. Therefore, a limited number of Latinas are represented in professional positions and roles in communities across the U.S. Also, due to additiona l cultural issues faced by Latinas in our society, it is possible that the road to doctoral graduate success may be experienced with greater challenges than that of their Anglo counterparts. Hence, the assumption is that Latina doctoral students are a uniq ue subgroup in the U.S. that may have different resiliency skills than other cultural groups.
6 However, it could be that the resiliency skills exhibited by some Latina doctoral students may be the same as those from other cultural backgrounds It is p roba ble that Latinas who have been successful in graduate studies and worked their way to a doctoral program may have had greater educational opportunities and fewer negative factors influencing their decision to finish high school, go to college, and then obt ain a graduate degree. Research indicates that financial stress and lack of family support are two factors that are related to college drop out rates (Sy, 2006). Therefore, it may be that the students with less financial stress and more family support have more positive academic results. Latinas with family support and financial support may be more likely to succeed in their graduate studies. The findings in the literature are consistent in describing family support, financial support, and faculty/mentor su pport as being helpful in fostering resiliency skills in these Latina college students (Arellano & Padilla, 1996; Ceballo, 2004; Gloria, Castellanos, Lopez, & Rosales, 2005; McHatton, Zalaquett, & Cranston Gingras 2006; Gonzalez, 2006; Gonzalez, 2007; Gonz alez, 2001; Zalaquett, 2005). Therefore, it is highly possible that this study will have similar findings. However it is also hoped that this study will expand on the current literature on elements that foster resiliency, while also describing challenges f aced by Latina doctoral students in their schooling experiences. Conceptual F ramework Resiliency T heory Research indicates that some Latinas face a number of roadblocks throughout the course of their doctoral education (Gonzalez, 2001). Furthermore, some L atinas are out early in their education due to the many barriers
7 they face and the factors that influence their decisions to terminate their education (Gonzalez; Hassinger & Plourde, 2005; Sy, 2006). Despite many of the obstacles that several Latinas face throughout their education, some Latinas succeed academically through high school, college, and graduate school. Resiliency theory focuses on the cceed in the face of adversity (Bernard, 2004). & Garmezy, 1990, p. 426). Others em phasize that resiliency is a function of connectedness and multiple interactions of varied factors (Bernard, 1999). Some authors factors in their lives and risk factors t hey face (Johnson, 1999; Werner & Johnson, 1999). A number of studies describe students who exhibit resiliency skills as being able to adapt to and manipulate their environment to successfully overcome educational challenges (Alva, 1995; Garbarino, Dubrow, Kostelny, & Pardo, 1992; Stanton Salazar & Spina, 2000). Upon review of the literature on resiliency and education, it appears that there are several resiliency theories and models that have been empirically tested (Bernard, 2004; Chavkin, 1999; Howell, 2 003; Krovetz, 1999; McMillan & Reed, 1994; Werner & Smith, it seems to encompass many of the same protective factors presented by other resiliency theorists (Howell, 2 003; Krovetz, 1999; McMillan & Reed, 1994; Werner and Smith, 1992). One concept presented by other theorists that is not explicitly described by
8 Bernard (2004) is community factors such as involvement in organizations and programs (Krovetz, 1999). It shou opportunities for meaningful participation as one of the elements fostering resiliency in students. It may be that this element was incorporated into the domain of social competence (Bernar d, 2004). Table 1 below includes a summary of previous resiliency theoretical concepts to illustrate also depicting additional resiliency concepts presented by other th eorists.
9 Table 1 ______________________________________________________________ _______ Authors (2004) Resiliency Concepts Additional Res iliency Concepts _____________________________________________________________________ Bernard, B. Social Problem Autonomy Sense of (2004) Competence Solving Purpose B ernard, B. Caring Posi tive & Opportunities (1995) Relationships High for Expectations Meaningful Participation K rovetz, M. Family High Community (1999) Expectations Purposeful School Value Participation McMillan, J. Family I ndi vidual Individu al Individual & Reed, D. Attributes Attributes Attributes (1994) Positive U se of T ime Werner, E. Role Models (1992) ________________________________________ _____________________________ Note Table 1 depicts a comparison of resilie ncy concepts presented by different authors It also includes applicable to t his study: (a) social competence, (b) problem solving, (c) autonomy, and (d) sense of purpose.
10 (Bernard, 2004; Gonzalez, 2007). This theoretical concept refers to the capability of expressi ng compassion and empathy, expressing concern and being caring, and being able to forgive others. This concept also refers to the positive impact that mentors, face to be resilient as found in the ways in which they think critically and plan (Bernard; Gonzalez; Masten & Coatsworth, 1998 ). Also, problem solving refers to flexibility an d self and have a feeling of purpose refers to the ability to find meaning in what one is doing when faced with challenges (Bernard). Another characteristic is having a sense of purpose. For instance, when faced with challenges having the ability to find meaning in what one is doin g (Bernard, 2004). When examining the experiences of Latina doctoral students, resiliency theory is important because it will assist in framing what these women have lived through while also giving context to their experiences. Figure 1 represents the conc eptual framework of resiliency as it relates to academically successful Latina doctoral students.
11 Figure 1 Cyclical Resiliency Framework Student exhibits resiliency skills Student does not exhibit resilien cy skills Will conti nue cycle when presented with new event
12 This graphic illustrates the cyclical process through which an individual is exposed to an event that is perceived as being stressful. The individual who exhibits effective resiliency skills is more likely to feel adequate and constructive while responding to the event in an effective manner Her distress is decreased and her self esteem and s elf affirmations are increased. The individual is more likely to then feel empowered and continue this process when confronted with another event. However, the figure also illustrates that an individual who does not exhibit effective resiliency skills will most likely have the opposite experience. This individual will feel inadequate and will have self defeating thoughts. She will have an ineffective response to the event which will in turn increase distress and decrease self esteem. Atrophy of skills will occur while the individual experiences interpersonal problems. Again, this process continues as the individual is confronted with new events. (2004) resiliency theory as a conceptual framework However it is possible that t his study may also uncover additional elements ; possibly yielding additional categories. T his research may examine challenges that these women face during their schooling experiences, which are not mentioned by Bernard T herefore, this study may expand the literature on resiliency theory particularly as related to academically successful Latinas doctoral students. Resiliency Research R ecommendations There is debate as to the measureable constructs of resiliency. Given th is issue, several authors (Brunelle Joiner, 1999; Glantz & Sloboda, 1999; Luther & Cushing, 1999; Masten, 1994; Masten, 1999; Wang, Haertel, & Walberg, 1994) have provided
13 recommendations for research on resiliency These authors suggest that the researche r take into account the context of the individual and offer their own reflections and interpretations of the individual. Additionally, some of these authors also recommend qualitative research to explore the sequence of events leading to the development of resiliency skills in students (Masten, 1994; Masten 1999). Definition of M ajor T erms Several researchers have produced different definitions for the term Latina. However, for the purpose of this study, the term Latina will be defined by the investigator as a woman who considers herself to be Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central American, South American, from the Caribbean or from descent of any of these Spanish speaking countries. (2001) description of generational status to further collect demographic data from participants. Generational status will refer to the birthplace of participants as well as the age when they immigrated to the United States if born elsewhere. Also, this term refers to the b In addition, the term Doctoral student will refer to any graduate student currently enrolled in a doctoral program in the U.S. Scope and D elimitation of S tudy The narrowed focus is specific to self identified Latina s who have successfully gained entrance into doctoral programs and are completing their doctoral program in the United States. Males will be excluded from participation in this study. Females were chosen for participation due to the lower number of Latinas graduating from doctoral and professional programs when compared to Latinos and other non Latina females.
14 Overview of D issertation C hapters In the remaining sectio ns of this dissertation I will introduce the history of research on resiliency and specif ically as it pertains to Latinas in education. Furthermore, I will describe the methodology used to gather data from a population of Latina doctoral students. Also, I will explain the proposed data ana lysis procedures for this study as well as the results and conclusions.
15 Chapter Two Literature Review Introduction In this section, I will review the literature on Latinas in education, narrowing the focus of the review to Latinas in doctoral education. I will then provide a critical evalu ation on the current literature related to resiliency and Latinas in education. Next, I will provide assumptions underlying resiliency in Latinas who achieve entrance and successfully navigate through doctoral programs. In the United States, holding a doc Moreover, attainment of such a degree provides one with opportunities to hold vital influencing positions in our society. With the numbers of Latina/os in the United States growing, it is disappointing to di scover that Latina/os are underrepresented in the professional fields when compared to African Americans and Anglo Americans. Contributing factors to this phenomenon include the facts that Latina/os have higher high school drop out rates and lower college enrollment and completion rates (Arellano & Padilla, 1996). More important, most Latina/os who complete an undergraduate degree do not continue on to obtain a graduate education, resulting in Latina/os having lower income and job opportunities than other g roups. For example, according to a 2005 U.S. Census Bureau report, the median income for Latina/os in 2004 was $34, 241 compared to a median income of $48, 977 for Anglo Americans (U.S. Department of Commerce,
16 2005). This poses a problem in the United Stat es and presents an issue that calls for further advocacy efforts for this population. As of 2006, 14.7% of the U.S. population was Latina/o (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2007a), and Latina/os are now the largest minority group in the United States (Gonzale z, 2006). Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Census projects that Latina/os will be close to one quarter of the United States population (24.4%) by 2050. Unfortunately, these high numbers are not expected to parallel Latina/os seeking higher education (Chapa & De La Rosa, 2006). In 2006 only 1.2% of Latina/os had earned professional and doctoral degrees (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2007b). Interestingly, Latinas had Latinos obt aining professional and doctoral degrees. (Hassinger & Plourde, 2005). This labeling is due to the higher drop out rates in this population (Hassinger & Plourde, 2005). Seve ral researchers have studied resiliency among youth in the PK 12 educational system, especially among at risk youth (i.e. students of color and Latino/as) (Hassinger & Plourde, 2005; McMillan & Reed, 1994; Werner & Smith, 1992). Resiliency research has foc used primarily on issues including wellness, positive psychology, health promotion, asset building, emotional intelligence, social capital and its subcategories, youth development, health realization, strength based social work, multiple intelligences, and value centered or spiritual intelligence (Bernard, 2004). In the last two decades a vast amount of literature has surfaced on the issue of resiliency of African Ame rican college students indicating that academic, social,
17 emotional, financial, and famili al support are all factors contributing to the academic success of these minority students ( Allen, 1987; Allen, 1992; Carroll, 1998; Cohen & Wills, 1985; Flint, 1992; Herndon & Hirt, 2004 ; Tinto, 1993 ). Research on resil iency among African American doctoral students suggest that their academic success was based on personal qualities and aspirations, but also influenced by the support received through financial aid, family, and faculty (King, 1994 a ; Herndon & Hirt, 2004 ) Additional factors leading to their enrollment decisions and persistence included a positive campus environment and the presence of other African American mentors (Fields, 1998; King, 1994) A mong African American female doctoral students, researchers fo und that personal qualities such as being political savvy, having faith and determination Despite the available research on resiliency among African American and Latina/o minorities in educatio nal settings, including resiliency among Afri c a n American graduate students, little research has studied the educational experiences and resiliency among Latina/o graduate students. One study examining the doctoral experiences of Latinas was conducted b y Gonzalez (2005). He examined the schooling experiences of thirteen Latina doctoral students enrolled at public research institutions throughout the U.S. including the challenges that these women faced as well as their academic socialization. Only those women self identifying as Latinas, who had completed at least three years of doctoral schooling were included in the study. During a thorough analysis on the interview data he doctoral education included: being exposed to a new region, positive peer influences, positive
18 views on the curriculum, supportive departments, professorial support, development through their assistantship, financial opportunities, and a welcoming and div erse campus environment. In contrast, Gonzalez also found that some Latinas faced challenges as they navigate d their doctoral education. These included: being far from home, the discriminatory environment, challenges navigating institutional politics, gene ralized perceptions about the institution, financial challenges, professorial challenges, lack of other Latinas in their programs, perceived and dual expectations, curriculum challenges, the campus environment, assistantship challenges, challenges from pee rs, and publishing challenges. In this study, some Latinas defined academic success as obtaining their doctoral degree, while others assessed academic success by publishing their work and presenting at conferences. Some defined academic success by impact ing the lives of their students and encouraging them to see their academic potential, while others discussed proving their abilities and potential to a discriminating world. The results from this study provide an illustration of the various educational cha llenges that some Latinas have encountered, while also depicting the factors that assisted them in their persistence. Being Latina: All But Dissertation (ABD). This author repo rts her experiences leading up to her academic success. She explains that recruitment programs for Latinas informed her and encouraged her to continue her graduate education. She also explains her involvement with different campus organizations for student s of color and the support she received. Guerra explains how her family and friends provided a lot of support as she worked on her dissertation. Her recommendations for other Latina/os who are ABD
19 oose a topic that you are passionate about, make and maintain connections with friends and family and avoid isolating yourself, and stay true to your values and beliefs regardless of your differences from other individuals. It appears that Guerra also expr essed the importance of family and friends as cited by Gonzalez (2005). E xperiences in U ndergraduate S tudies The following literature examines studies that address Latina/o student resiliency in undergraduate college settings (see summary in Ap pendix L), followed by studies dealing with Latina/o doctoral student resiliency (see summary in Appendix M). A vast number of studies have explored the challenges faced by Latinas during their undergraduate college experiences. In this review, qualitativ e studies will be evaluated for trustworthiness while quantitative studies will be evaluated for internal and will be used to establish whether studies meet criterion for credibility transferability, dependability, and confirmability. (1979) taxonomy will be used to evaluate statistical inclusion validity, internal validity, construct validity, and external v alidity. Ceballo (2004) investigated the academic success of Latina/o students from impoverished families as well as the role of parents by conducting 10 semi structured interviews with first generation, U.S. born Latino students enrolled at Yale Universi ty. Prior to the interview, students completed a demographic questionnaire. Ceballo found success included: (a) strong parental commitment to education, (b) facilitation of
20 stud verbal parental expression of support, and (d) supportive resiliency theory Given that the emergent themes support the resiliency theory concepts of social competence and autonomy. study. Upon examining the study for credibility, I discovered that the study did not appear to meet criteria for prolonged engagement Re searchers did not interview participants several times over a long period of time. However, researchers thoroughly reviewed the taped interviews and transcriptions for recurrent themes and support for different theories and identified relevant from irrele vant observations (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press b). Additionally, triangulation was appropriate as the participants were reliable sources and the methods used by the investigators were appropriate based on the research questions gui ding their inquiry (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press a). Also, the nature of this study, whereby meeting investigator triangulation (Onwuegbuzie & Leech). Data triangulation was met since the researcher used data from multiple sources (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Furthermore, t heory triangulation and methodological triangulation were also met in this study because the resea rcher used various theories to interpret the results and she used multiple methods of gathering her data (Onwuegbuzie & Leech). However, peer debriefing was not discussed in this study. Although most of the criteria for cr edibility are met, Ceballo does not mention completion of member checking of the transcribed da ta (Lincoln & Guba). However, because she maintained
21 transcribed data, the study meets criteria for referential adequacy (Onwuegbuzie & Leech) This study did meet the criterion for transferability because it presented thick descriptions, or detailed descr iptions themes present (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press). In addition, this study also met criteria for dependability because i t can easily be replicated and the methods of inquiry were appropriate. Also, the au thor maintained ex tensive documentation of data gathered leaving an audit trail, thereby meeting criteria for confirmability classes of raw records, raw data such an audio tapes, data reduction and analysis products such as written notes, and data reconstruction and synthesis products such as interpretations of findings, I found that the criteria for confirmability was met. Overall, this study appears to me et most of the criteria for trustworthiness Therefore, it may provide suppor resiliency theory In another study, Arellano and Padilla (1996) examined the concep ts and academic invulnerability. Participants included 30 undergraduate Mexican students who completed a demographic questionnaire as w ell as an educational resiliency scale. The authors then interviewed participants regarding their experiences throughout their undergraduate studies and reviewed factors contributing to their success. These researchers subjected the transcribed data to ext ensive review for emergent themes. Arellano and Padilla discovered that most respondents contributed the following factors to their academic success: (a) parental support and encouragement, (b) personal optimistic outlook and belief in their ability to suc ceed, (c) persistence and drive to succeed, (d) ethnicity as a source of strength, pride, and support, and (e) positive role
22 (2004) resiliency theoretical concepts are supported Up on examining this study for trustworthiness, it was discovered that the authors maintained transcribed data from the interviews as well as field notes and studied the interview data for common themes, therefore, the study met criterion for persistent obser vation, triangulation, and referential adequacy. Despite these findings, the authors do not mention member checking, peer debriefing, or prolonged engagement, therefore, all criteria for credibility do not appear to be met. The authors did provide thick de scriptions of the interview data, whereby meeting criteria for transferability. They also provided an inquiry audit and an audit trail for replication of the study T herefore, the study meets criteria for both dependability and confirmability Overall howe ver, this study has not established credibility; therefore, I its trustworthiness may be questionable, hence, it may not provide strong (2004) resiliency theory. Lopez, and Rosales (2005) assessed predicting factors of academic non persistence decisions for Latina/o undergraduate students. In this study, 99 out of 108 students who submitted completed surveys met study criteria. Authors provided each participant wi th a demographic questionnaire as well as 11 standardized instruments including the University Environment Scale, Cultural Congruity Scale, Perception of Barriers Scale, College Environmental Stress Index Modified, Perceived Social Support Inventory Family and Friends, Parental Encouragement Scale, Mentoring Scale, Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, College Self Efficacy Inventory, Educational Degree Behaviors Self Efficacy Scale, and the Persistence/Voluntary Dropout Decision Scale. These researchers
23 analyzed th e data using canonical correlations. Results from this study indicate that the constructs of university comfort, self belief, and social support are significantly correlated with nonpersistence decisions for Latina/o undergraduate students. The limitatio ns of this study are worth noting. First, this study was cross sectional, therefore, it is unknown whether the student participants dropped out of school or persisted. Also, the sample consisted of more Latinas than Latinos. This may be due to the higher e nrollment rates of Latinas when compared to Latinos. Upon reviewing the study for validity, I discovered that the authors used appropriate instrumentations and data analysis procedures to conclude that a relationship exists between the variables presented statistical conclusion validity was met. Furthermore, the authors of this study conducted a series of hierarchical regressions to determine a causal relationship between variables, t herefore, criterion for internal validity was also met. In addition, this study met criteria for construct validity of putative causes and effects because the measured variables capture the essence of the hypothetical constructs. Lastly, the quantitative s tudy results can be generalized, but only to Latina/o students, therefore, the degree to which those particular results can be generalized to the larger population are limited Researchers distributed surveys to undergraduate students through student organ izations, academic population was comprised of Latina/os, three quarters of whom were of Mexican descent. Researchers obtained ninety nine completed surveys from und ergraduates, including twenty nine males and seventy females. Additionally, the overall quality of the scales used was good because most had been used and validated in other studies on Latina
24 undergraduates (Constantine, et al., 2002; Gloria, 1997; Gloria Castellanos, & Orozco, 2005). Therefore, t he external validity criterion was met. Overall, this study met criteria the results from t his quantitative study provide support for the following two resiliency th eoretical concept s as presented by Bernard (2004): social competence and autonomy whereby providing additional empirical support and support Zalaquett (2005) also examined both the challenges faced by Latina/o students that had an effect on their access to a college education as well as supporting factors. In his study, Zalaquett gathered narratives from 12 Latina/o undergraduate students. These stories were then submitted to two randomly selected professionals for evalu ation, of which one was Latina/o and the other was from a different ethnic background. This study concludes that undergraduate students perceived barriers included: (a) misinformation about the college application process as well as opportunities, such as financial aid, (b) poorly informed choices, and (c) minimal adult supervision and guidance. On the contrary to these findings, Zalaquett also discovered common supporting factors to academic success. These include: (a) support from family, (b) influence of friendships, education, (f) perceived responsibility towards their parents and sibling, (g) sense of accomplishment, and (h) supportive school personnel. As with previou s qualitative studies, I also tested this study for trustworthiness. Upon review of the study results and analysis, it appears that the study meets criteria for credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability because the researcher gathered rich written narratives from the participants and later used word analysis and
25 categorization to organize the data and identify themes and patterns. Also the author used peer debriefing Moreover, the narratives were self reported and written, therefore c riterion for referential adequacy and member checking are met. There was not mention of prolonged engagement, although, it appears that students attended an interview in addition to writing their stories. T he surfacing themes from this study seem to provid e the following resiliency theoretical constructs: social competence, problem solving, and sense of purpose. In 2006, McHatton, Zalaquett, and Cranston Gingras examined the percep tions of undergraduate farm worker students who were successful at gaining entrance into a four year university. Authors provided participants with a 98 item survey instrument. A total of 57 students completed and returned the surv ey. Results from this stu dy illustrate that undergraduate students from migrant farm worker families expressed 3 common factors contributing to the ir academic success These included: (a) positive perception of the self, (b) supportive family, and (c) determination despite negativ e school experiences Students reportedly felt conflict between finding a balance in each category. The degree to which findings from this study can be generalized is limited because the participants only represent migrant farm worker families and academic ally successful students. Upon reviewing the study for validity, I found that the study met criteria for statistical conclusion validity because the researchers provided adequate conclusions regarding the relationship between variables. Also, the study me t criterion for internal validity because it appears that there is a causal relationship between familial support, student self reliance, and determination and their decision to obtain a college education.
26 Moreover, this study met criterion for construct v alidity of putative causes and effects, because the constructs presented provide an adequate representation of the hypothetical construct. Additionally, criterion for external validity was met because the findings from this study can be generalized to othe r students, although limited to Latina/os. Hence, this Furthermore, results from indicate that successful s tudents express autonomy and social competence. Table 2 provides a summary of both the challenges and factors related to Latina/o college student success, as mentioned earlier in this literature review.
27 Table 2 Summary of Latina/o s Experience s in Undergraduate Studies ________________________________________________________________________ Authors Challenges Factors Related to Success ________________________________________________________________________ Arellano, A.R. & Padilla, A.M. (1 996) Parental support & encouragement Personal optimistic outlook Drive to succeed Ethnicity as a source of strength, pride, & support Ceballo, R. (2004) Parental unc onditional commitment to education Autonomy Large responsibility for Non verbal support for caring for siblings educational endeavors Generational & cultural Non verbal support for differences bet ween educational endeavors student and parent Latina traditional gender roles Faculty role models & M entors ________________________________________________________________________ (table continues)
28 Table 2 (co ntinued) _____________________________________________________________________ Authors Challenges Factors Related to Success _____________________________________________________________________ Gloria, A.M., Castellanos, J., Lopez, A.G., & Rosales, R (2005) Increased sense of cultural congruity Positive perception of university environment Decreased perception of barriers Perceived social support from friends and family Increased sense of self efficacy McHatton, P.A., Zalaquett, C.P., & Cra n son G ing r as, A. (2006) perception of self Strong familial bond School experiences and awar eness of college requirements Zalaquett, C. (2005) Misinformation about post Family support secondary application process & opportunity Friendship Poorly informed choices Scholarships Minimal adult supervision Community support ________________________________________________________________________ (table continues)
29 Table 2 (continued) _____________________________________________________________________ Authors Challenges Factors Related to Su ccess _____________________________________________________________________ Perceived value of education Responsibility towards others Sense of accomplishment Support from school personnel _____________________________________________________________________ E xperiences in D octoral P rograms In addition to studies focusing on the experiences of undergraduate Latina/o students in college settings, more recently, a few st udies have focused on the experiences of Latina/os during their doctoral studies and their resiliency. Gonzalez (2007) examined the experiences of Latinas during their doctoral education. Researchers interviewed 12 Latina faculty from different fields (spe cified fields are not reported in manuscript) using semi structured interviews. Participants were gathered through snowball and quota sampling. Interviews were recorded and transcribed before being subjected to code based analysis using N6 qualitative data analysis software. Results from this study were categorized into 4 resiliency theory concepts, including: (a) social competence, (b) problem solving, (c) autonomy, and (d) sense of purpose. Gonzalez (2007) found that all participants were able to form po sitive relationships with other doctoral students, particularly those of color and other Latinas;
30 however, they had a more difficult time forming the same bonds with white faculty and understanding and problem solving that focuses on the assets of people and systems, rather than on the nature of individuals to resist experienced and perceived i nstitutional oppression in the knowledge of resistance later in their careers as facult y. Many of these women reframed their negative experience into positive learning experiences and forgave those individuals who were racist and sexist. This forgiveness is noted in the resiliency literature as signifying social competence. In addition to t his finding, Gonzalez (2007) discovered that all 12 interviewees expressed feeling independent as being related to a positive ethnic identity. In the resiliency literature (Masten & Coatsworth, 1998), this sense of autonomy is related to high self esteem, a sense of purpose, and high academic achievement. Additionally, results indicate that many of the Latinas interviewed expressed having a purpose for their family but also to their community. These women emphasized that their strong sense of purpose was wh at helped them maintain resiliency. After reviewing this study for trustworthiness, I discovered that the authors used appropriate methods to ensure credibility. Although they did not meet all criteria for credibility, they did meet referential adequacy, p ersistent observation, and triangulation however there was no mention of member checking, prolonged engagement, or peer debriefing Furthermore, this study did provide ric h and thick descriptions of the data
31 collected and provided an audit trail since the y transcribed the data and the study is easy to replicate, therefore, the study meets criteria for transferability, dependability, and confirmability whereby meeting criterion for trustworthiness. The results from this study also provide support for all o (2004) resiliency theoretical constructs. In another study, Gonzalez (2001) used autoethnography to illustrate the doctoral experiences of Latina/os. Six Latina/os provided narratives of the doctoral experience and participated in a lengthy foc us group. Half of the participants were female and the other half were male. Results from this study indicate that Latina/os shared a feeling of vulnerability upon entering their doctoral programs. They also felt unfamiliar with the culture of doctoral pro grams and the process of socialization. Moreover, participants described a lack of Latina/o representation in their programs and feeling as if they were outsiders. Another important theme that surfaced in this study was that of identity development and cha nge through the course of doctoral studies. In addition to this theme, another element that arose was lack of validation. Participants shared that they did not receive messages from faculty that validated their work. Lastly, Latina/os expressed a shared el ement of struggle and conflict between their communities and their academic environment. When examining this study for trustworthiness, I found that the author was successful at meeting all criteria for credibility. It was evident throughout the article th at the author provided thick descriptions and was able to capture the voices of the participants in his study. This study met criteria for transferability, dependability, and confirmability; therefore, it met all criteria for trustworthiness. Additionally, the findings
32 chose not to rely on any a priori theory when conducting his study, the findings indicate that Latina students obtaining their doctoral degrees exhibit r esiliency in the form of problem solving. Another study (Gonzalez, 2006) examined the experiences of Latina doctoral students related to academic socialization. Here, the researcher used qua l itative methods and conducted 13 semi structured interviews with Latinas who were at least in their third year of doctoral studies. Findings suggest that Latinas share many of the same challenges and support systems as that of other non Latino/a doctoral students; however some of the findings were specific to the exper iences of Latinas. Specific to Latina doctoral students, Gonzalez (2006) discovered that Latinas who succeeded in the face of adversity had positive experiences in their K 12 education as well as positive experiences in the collegiate years leading up to t heir doctoral studies. Furthermore, these women had financial support in the form of fellowships and scholarships from their institution. Participants further discussed the role that institutional diversity played in their success. Moreover, inclusion in d epartment wide support systems assisted them during challenging times. In addition to the helpful agents of success, this study also reflects the barriers that challenged Latinas during their doctoral studies. These challenges include: poor academic prepa ration, racism, cultural assimilation, and a number of challenges at t he institutional level. Specific to the experience of Latinas, participants reported lack of mentorship and tokenization by peers. Latinas were expected to speak for all Latinas during c lassroom activities. This study, too, had limitations. The scope of generalizable results was limited, especially because all participants were selected from the social
33 sciences. After a thorough review of this study, I found that the author did not menti on methods used to ensure credibility. Therefore, it is difficult to determine the credibility of the study. The study accounted for persistent observations, referential adequacy, and thick descriptions, and met criteria for inquiry audit and audit trail, therefore the study meets criteria for transferability, dependability, and confirmability Therefore, I think that this study also meets criteria for trustworthiness. Moreover, it provides additional support for resiliency theoretical conc ept of social competence. Table 3 summarizes both the challenges and factors related to Latina doctoral success, as described previously Table 3 ________________________________________________________ ________________ Authors Challenges Factors Related to Success ________________________________________________________________________ Gonzalez, J.C. (2006) Poor PK 12 preparation Positive K 12 & college Undesired cultural assimilation experien ces Overt & covert racism in Financial Assistance undergraduate studies Lack of financial support Institution wide diversity Discrimination based on Department wide support race, gender, & class systems Stigmatizat ion & Tokenism Hostile college environments ________________________________________________________________________ (table continues)
34 Table 3 (continued) _____________________________________________________________________ Authors Chal lenges Factors Related to Success ______________________________________________________ _______________ Navigating institutional politics Cultural dissonance and isolation Gonzalez, J.C. (2007) Resistance to doctoral socialization Po sitive attachment to other Latina students Isolation & segregation Forgiving those who oppressed them Racism, sexism, and White Thinking critically about privilege racism, sexism, & classism Lack of Lati na faculty mentors Practice of autonomy Strong sense of purpose to family, community, & society Gonzalez, K.P. (2001) Lack of family understanding Problem solving Entering a new & unfamiliar world Lack of an adequate Latina/o presence in their programs within status Enduring identity changes Yearning for validation Enduring conflicts between two different worlds _____________________________________________________________________
35 Summary T his section has examined the literature on resiliency among Lat inas in college environments, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Overall, t his sub group is at greater risk of dropping out of college and not furthering their education beyond a 05; Sy, 2006). to drop out . It is possible that the results from this study will parallel findings from previous research on the schooling experiences of Latina docto ral students and resiliency. However, it is also possible t hat findings from this study will expand information on the existing resiliency skills and elements fostering such skills In addition to providing information regarding some of the unique challeng es faced by Latina doctoral students. In the next section I will introduce the design and methodology of the present study.
36 Chapter Three Methodology In this section, I will present the logic, struc ture, and design of the study, as well as any threats to the trustworthiness of the design. Furthermore, I will describe my sample, instrumentation, and data collection procedures. Also, I will explain the data analysis procedures used and any methodological assumptions regarding my sampl e or instruments. Questions G uiding the I nquiry As mentioned earlier, these are the fundamental questions that guide this inquiry: (a) What were the educational experiences of Latina doctoral students during their undergraduate and graduate studies, ( b ) What personal traits or characteristics do these successful Latinas possess? ( c support system that increases academic success? ( d ) What are the motivations of Latinas who seek entrance into doctoral programs? ( e ) What experiences did these Latinas have upon entering their doctoral programs? Additionally, specific questions were asked of participants to highlight their personal experiences and gain a greater understanding of their schooling experiences, support system, and resiliency skills (s ee Appendices F & G).
37 Design of S tudy This study is qualitative, a method most appropriate when examining human behavior in its social context ( Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Lincoln & Guba, 1985 ). Six semi s tructured interviews w ere conducted, since Creswell (1998) recommends a number of three to five participants for case studies and I wanted to account for any no shows The sample w as homogenous and was comprised of only Latina doctoral students. Participan ts were Latina doctoral students attending college at a metropolitan university in the state of Florida. Although the state of Florida is comprised of 27% Latino/as, this institution i s not recognized as a Latina/o serving institute. It is known that durin g the f all 2007 semester, 3 out of 44 accepted and enrolled graduate students were Latino/a. In addition, the selected participants had completed at least 1 year of their doctoral studies. This criterion was chosen to include students who have demonstrated academic persistence in doctoral programs. Participants were asked open ended questions regarding their schooling experiences leading to doctoral program admittance as well as their schooling experiences as doctoral students. This style of interviewing al lows general questions to create greater conversational dialogue yielding richer answers (Merriam, 1998). Interviewees also complete d a demographic questionnaire that asks about their educational degrees, fields of study, and how they self identify in term s of race and ethnicity (Gonzalez, 2006). Major A ssumption s I believe that Latina doctoral students who are academically successful have achieved higher educational success due to their resiliency skills consistent with the literature including: social c ompetence, problem solving, autonomy, and sense of purpose
38 (Gonzalez, 2007). I further believe that additional elements such as family support and mentorship foster their resiliency skills and help them overcome the challenges faced throughout their schoo ling history while achiev ing their current academic and educational goals. Description of Sample Participants were first recruited by sending an e mail message via the graduate professional organization server list as well as the graduate dive rsity scholarship server list at a large Florida metropolitan University. I also contact ed known Latinas who are obtaining their doctoral degrees at this large university. Additionally, I contacted Latina/o professors and asked that they forward a flyer an nouncement to Latina doctoral students. Furthermore, I also post ed flyers at the metropolitan university campus to recruit potential participants. The message explain ed that a study wa s being conducted on academically persistent Latina doctoral students an d ask ed for volunteers willing to share information about their educational backgrounds and experiences. The selection criteria specif ied that students must be (a) Latina or of Latina /o descent, (b) enrolled as doctoral students, who have completed a minim um of 1 year of their doctoral studies, (c) have attended U.S. educational settings prior to their doctoral college schooling, and are (d) first through third generation immigrants (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001). Snowball sampling w as used to identify potential interview participants. T his type of sampling allow ed me to consult with individuals who kn e w about other individuals who c ould provide rich information (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). As such, I ask ed Latina doctoral students to identify other Latina doctoral students Of the eighteen Latina doctoral students who either contacted me or were contacted by me, seven women met all criteria for
39 participation in the study and agreed to meet with me for an interview. Five of the remaining individuals responded statin g that they would be unable to meet for an interview due to busy schedules and one woman stated that she considered herself Caucasian instead of Latina. Additionally, five of the individuals that I attempted to contact did not respond. Of the seven volunte ers, one did not show for her on campus interview and did not respond to my attempts to contact her to reschedule the interview. This left me with a total of six participants for the study. Instruments Two instruments were used to gather data on respondent experience: (a) demographic questionnaire (see Appendix J) and (b) a semi structured interview protocol (see Appendix F). The demographic questionnaire ask ed questions about the age, ethnic/cultural background, grade point average, entran ce exam scores, PK were then interviewed using the semi structured protocol developed specifically for this study (see Appendix F). All of the questions for the protocol were derived from existing literature related to schooling experiences that have impacted the academic achievement of Latino students (Galindo & Escamilla, 1995; Vasquez, 1982) (for samples of central int erview questions and sub questions please see Appendices F and G). Interviews last ed between 15 and 45 minutes and w ere tape recorded and transcribed for accuracy. The range of time for interviews varied because some participants were prepared with written responses to interview questions while others were not. I was the interviewer for this study. I conduct ed all the semi structured
40 interviews, audiotape the interviews, and submitted the audio files of the interviews to a professional transcription agency for transcriptions Transcriptions of the interviews ranged in page length between four and nine pages typed, single spaced. I also collect ed e mail messages from participants. In preparation for the interview process, it was important to note ethical con siderations as this method of inquiry can be harmful to interviewees if not handled with proper care (Fontana & Frey, 2005). Therefore, I attempt ed to play a neutral role, without interjecting my values or opinions to can have negatively impact ed rapport building with the participants. Prior to the interviews, interested students contact me or I contact ed participants (snowball sampling) and screen ed them for eligibility to participate in the research study (see Appendix B). If the individual me t eligibility criteria, then I ask ed them to complete an informed consent form (see Appendix E) indicating that they agree d to the terms and conditions of this study and were voluntarily choosing to participate. I made every attempt to ch oose a convenient time and place for students, around their course schedules. I chose to hold interviews on and off campus in a conference room or private office in an attempt to decrease environmental noise and distractions. It is possible that interviews held on campus caused participants to be less forthcoming as they might have been reluctant to openly share information about any negative doctoral schooling experiences within that environment. Also, participants provide d me with contact information if t hey were interested in participation in the study, so that I could e mail or mail the informed consent along with the demographic questionnaire and interview questions to them.
41 Data C ollection P rocedures The interview was a formal semi structured face to f ace interview in which I ask ed a series of predetermined basic descriptive and open ended questions to each participant and also use d sub (see Appendices F & G) ( Creswell 1998; Janesick, 2004). I audiotape d the conversation and record ed information on the interview protocol (see Appendix F) in the case that the recording did not function correctly. Throughout the interview, I also use d nonverbal techniques recommended by Fontana and Frey (2005). For example, I use d chronemic communication, that is, I pace d 2005). Furthermore, I use d paralinguistic techniques such as a friendly and caring voice quality, while being attentive to my voice volume and pitch (Fontana & Frey, 2005). These are all techniques that I am well trained in due to my background in psychotherapy. As anticipated, each participant was interviewed only once during the course of the study. Then, I contact ed participants a second time for member checking that is, clarification of responses to interview questions to increase interpretive validity (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press b). This second contact was through a brief e mail, however, the participant time spent reviewing the e ma iled transcriptions was e stimated to last approximately two hours because the participant was asked to verify their answers to questions and make appropriate changes or add information I received two responses within one day and the other 4 responses with in one week. Only two participants responded with clarifications of their transcribed interviews, one of which added additional information to her responses.
42 Prior to conducting this study, I submit ted a study proposal to the University Institutional R eview Board (IRB). Once approved by the IRB, I beg a n the recruitment process by contacting the graduate office coordinator and president of the graduate student professional organization and request ed that they e mail doctoral students on their list serves a study flyer with my contact information. Upon being contacted by interested individuals, I call ed or in the case of one participant e mailed the individual to screen them for eligibility criteria. Then I e mail ed a copy of the study letter (see Append ix D), informed consent form (See Appendix E), and demographic questionnaire (see Appendix J) if the interested individual meets criteria for the study. Those interested in participating in the study were required to return a completed informed consent for m along with the completed demographic questionnaire to me prior to the interview. To minimize the possibility of coercion or undue influence being imposed on the participants, I verbally explain ed the study to participants upon initial contact (Christians 2005). All participants had the choice at any time not to complete the demographic questionnaire, and not to complete the interviews. They could also choose to discontinue further participation in the study at any time. It is believed that this study was of minimal risk to participants because individuals volunteer ed to participate and this study did not involve deception (Christians, 2005). To protect was maintained by the investigator in a locked filing cabinet for which I will have sole access to and will be kept for three years. Also, participants requested that the full interview transcriptions be kept private, although they agreed to let me use quotes from the transcriptions for the purpose of the study and p ublications. I made every effort to conceal participants identity by leav ing any
43 demographic information that could easily identify the participant out of the study write up. Collection of qualitative data for this study beg an and ended in May 2008. A col lective case study was conducted to examine the schooling experiences and family influences of Latina doctoral students, through one on one face to face semi structured interviews conducted by the investigator. A collective case study is used when the rese arch is studying more than one case (Stake, 1995). This type of instrumental case study appears most appropriate because in examining each particular case, I hope d to t he variables influencing their decision to strive forward through higher education. Across case analysis allow ed for a thematic analysis across cases (Cresswell, 1998). descriptiv e validity, I e mail ed each participant a copy of the transcribed interview with researcher during documentation. Through member checking each participant was asked to read t hrough the interview to assure that all data collected were accurate (Merriam, 1998). This was completed to increase interpretive validity (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, in press). Respondents were further asked to make clarification, corrections, or additions to t he information provided prior to analysis of data to assure that rich data were collected. Member checking was not audio taped since each participant complete d this process independently and contact ed me through e mail if changes or corrections need ed to b e made to the transcribed data.
44 As mentioned previously, data collected include d audio tapes and completed interview protocols. All data were gathered in the same manner, using the same semi structured interview protocols. The R esearcher I am a twenty ei ght year old, second generation (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001), Cuban American Latina, doctoral candidate and psychotherapist. These descriptors provide a lens through which I view the world and perceive my experiences. In this section, I will examine these defi ning characteristics. Cuban American Latina I identify myself as a Cuban American Latina. In my view, Latina encompasses many different Hispanic subcultures including my own. I mention this descriptor because I was born and raised in the United States, how ever, I was raised by a Cuban mother and step father speaking primarily Spanish and surrounded by Cuban family members, neighbors, friends, food, music, and celebrating Cuban holidays. These cultural elements contributed to my multicultural experience. I u se the term multicultural because I consider myself American as well. During my life, I have also been exposed to American culture. My biological father and his side of my family is Anglo American, therefore, American holidays and other cultural elements w ere also a part of my life. Furthermore, I attended schools in the United States from PK through graduate school.
45 I present this personal explanation of the term Cuban American Latina in an effort to clarify that my experience as a Latina may be differ ent from other women who use similar or different descriptors to identify their cultural background. I am aware that the Latina population encompasses various Hispanic subcultures which are different than mine. Second G eneration I use the term second gene ration to also identify myself (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001) This term refers to being the first Latina in my family born in the U.S. My mother was born and raised in Cuba and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 15, therefore, her schooling experiences differ from my own, and she is 1.25 generation Latina (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001) This is important because it is possible that other Latinas may identify as being born in another country, or being first generation, second generation, third generation, etc. My awa reness of the possible differences is important due to issues surrounding acculturation that may influence the perspectives of each participant in this study. Doctoral C andidate I mention this descriptor because I am currently a third year student obtainin g my doctoral degree at a large metropolitan university and have successfully achieved doctoral candidacy. This is important because I have faced educational challenges that have been perceived through a Latina lens and this may not be the case for other L atinas. Other participants may have faced challe nges that they do not attribute to their cultural background. Also, my experiences may be different from Latinas who obtained their previous degrees at small universities, because I completed both my B.A. and my M.A. at
46 the same institution where I am completing my doctoral degree. My awareness of this difference will be important during my interpretation of the data collected. Twenty Eight Year O ld I provide my age as a descriptor because I am a traditional college student. This means that I have attended college full time since graduating high school and have completed each degree without any breaks. My experiences may be different from other Latinas who took time off from school during degrees or completed their education on a part time basis All of my college education has t aken place in the last ten years during a time when there is greater representation of Latinas in college Furthermore, universities have begun creating programs to advocate for Latin Psychotherapist This description is mentioned to illustrate my educational background and career field, which may be different than that of other Latina students; therefore, it is possible that their schooling experiences will be ve ry different than mine. I mention these descriptors of myself to illustrate the background that has contributed to my perceptions of the educational process. Also, to present my awareness of possible differences that may exist from me and participants of the study. Research V erification I also introduce d the descriptors to indicate that I have the appropriate qualifications to complete this investigation. I am in a Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral program at a large metropolitan University and have obtained a multicultural diversity. I have completed a course in Qualitative Research: Design and
47 Data Collection at the doctoral level along with both Quantitative Stati stics I and II at the doctoral level. In order to ensure the integrity and accuracy of my findings, I use d Lincoln and criteria tests qualitative studies for trustwor thiness based on credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Credibility Triangulation Additionally, to meet criteria for triangulation, I assure d that the participants were reliable sources and met criteria for inclusion in the stu dy (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Also, my educational background is adequate for the nature of this study, whereby meeting investigator triangulation (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press b). Also, I use d a colleague of mine in my department as an external auditor to r eview the gathered data for common themes. Furthermore, I attempt ed to meet data triangulation criteria by using data from multiple sources (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). For example, I use d data from written notes and observations as well as transcriptions. Also to achieve methodological triangulation I use d multiple methods of gathering data, such as audio taped interviews, protocol notes, and transcriptions. I also review ed entrance exam scores. Peer debriefing I underwe nt peer debriefing to assure that I was carrying out my study according to my methodology without letting my a priori assumptions interfere with my data collection procedures or interpretation of the data. This is important in that it allow ed for an extern al evaluation of the research methodology and analysis (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) (see Appendix I).
48 In addition peer debriefing help ed me receive guidance and support during the research process. Referential adequacy To account for referential adequacy I record ed the d them (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). However, a s per an agreement with participants, transcriptions will not be available to other researchers. During the first interview I conducted, the participant requested that her full transcriptions not be shared with members of my dissertation committee because she feared that she would be easily identified due to the small pool of Latina doctoral students in her college. For every subsequent interview, I asked participan ts if they preferred to have their full transcriptions kept private, to which all reported this was their preference. However, participants agreed to have quotations from their transcribed interviews used for the purpose of this study and publications. Me mber checking It wa s important that I verify my interpretations with each respondent through member checking (Merriam, 1998). To do this, I e mail ed the transcribed data from each interview to the corresponding interviewee and request ed that she review th e data and provide me with corrections if necessary or additional information that was not provided during the interview session.
49 Transferability Thick descriptions I attempt ed to meet the criterion for transferability by presenting thick descripti ons the similar themes present (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, in press). This criterion might have been better met if the duration of the interviews had been longer allowing for greater amounts of data. Also, if the participants could have in terviewed in the language of their choice (i.e. Spanish or English) this may have resulted in thick descriptions However, due to time limitations and lack of available bilingual transcription services, the in terviews were conducted in the E nglish language. Dependability Inquiry audit In addition, this study met criteria for dependability because it is easy to replicate and the methods of inquiry are appropriate. It is possible that other researchers might have diff iculties gathering participants on other campuses in the United States, in which Latina doctoral students are underrepresented. Confirmability Audit trail Also, I maintain ed ex t e n sive documentation of the data gathered leaving an audit trail thereby mee ting criteria for confirmability (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). I used an interview pro interviews transcribed and went through each interview multiple times for coding of themes. Data A nalysis oal is to answer general questions about the data collected; and one appropriate method of analysis for this study is a constant comparison analysis (Leech &
50 Onwuegbuzie, in press a). I review ed the transcripts and gather ed meaningful sections from the tra nscriptions and assign ed a code to the section Afterwards, each coded section was grouped to identify a specific theme. I also used content analysis by implementing word count because I believe d it w ould be helpful in finding meaning in the information sh ared by participants and w ould allow me to leave an audit trail (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, in press b). To do this, I transcribe d the data and then count ed the times that certain words emerge d This approach was only helpful in identifying participant specific themes. In analyzing the data, it is suggested that researchers are accountable for the development of categories (Constas, 1992). Constas describes three different elements, all of which are associated to questions guiding the study. For example, originat ion is the first element This refers to the originator of the categories which emerg ed during the research analysis In this study I coded the data and ask ed an external auditor to also do so in order to increase trustworthiness. Furthermore, categories m ay emerge from the intellectual constructions in which case these categories are taken from an investigative perspective (Constas, 1992). Also, an empirical approach was used for verification of categories by reviewing the current literature for similar themes. T his approach allow ed the researcher to examine the coverage implied by categories According to Constas, the last component of developing categories is nomination I assign ed names to the categories to portray the schooling experiences of Latinas in d octoral programs Categories were created a posteriori after coding the data (Constas, 1992). Case oriented analysis and exploratory techniques were used.
51 Summary For the purpose of this study, I use d a qualitative research methodology. Co nducting a collective case study through semi structured interviews, I was able to audio tape and transcribe data gathered and search for common themes that surface d throughout the data analysis. Additionally the steps I have taken to account for threats to external and internal credibility were also discussed. The next chapter, Chapter four, will present the results of the study. Furthermore, it will describe the domains and categories of themes that arose during data analysis.
52 Chapter F our Results Chapter three introduced the methodological procedures used in this study. In this chapter, I will present the results from the study. Chapter four will describe the domains and categories in which these data were organized as well as the the mes that surfaced in each category after word count and coding of the data. Using qualitative inquiry, the data were collected through the use of qualitative interviews with six participants Questions guiding this inquiry included: (a) What were the educa tional experiences of Latina doctoral students during their undergraduate and graduate studies ? ; ( b ) What personality traits or characteristics do these successful Latinas possess ? ; ( c ) What common elements at increases academic success ? ; ( d ) What are the motivations of Latinas who seek entrance into doctoral programs ? ; and ( e ) What experiences did these Latinas have upon entering their doctoral programs? T he data were collected through semi struct ured interview s which were audio taped and later transcribed. These data w ere sorted throughout the manuscript into different groupings including the sources of support and the challenges that participants experienced throughout their schooling. Quotes fr om each participant will be introduced and reduced into themes for each category. I will use first person so that the voice of the participant is not lost in translation and the reader can gain a better understanding of the presented categories of data surfaced from the standard 14
53 interview questions. The categories include: (a) General impressions; (b) Perceived barriers or struggles; (c) Personal characteristics; (d) Concept of social competence; (e) Concept of problem sol ving; (f) Concept of autonomy; (g) Concept of sense of purpose; (h) Greatest supports; (i) Motivating factors; (j) Suggested changes for educators, high schools, colleges and/or universities; and (k) Advice to students. These categories were then grouped into four main domains including: (a) Overall Educational Experiences; (b) Recommendations. Table 4 provides an illustration of these domains and categories. Table 4 Dom ains and Categories of Data Analysis _____________________________________________________________________ Overall Educational Components of Impact on Recommendations Experiences (2004) Academic Resiliency Model Persistence ______________ _______________________________________________________ General Impressions Concept of Greatest Suggested Social Competence Supports C hanges for Educators, High Schools, Colleges, and/or Universities Perceived Barriers or Concept of Problem Motivating Advice to Struggles Solving Factors Students Personal Concept of Characteristics Autonomy Concept of Sense of Purpose _____________________________________________________________________
54 Prio r to the discussion of results, I will discuss potential researcher bias. Field notes from the interview are included in Appendix N. Exact transcripts will not be released per an agreement between the participants and me. I will begin by explaining specifi c themes that surfaced for each individual participant through a within case analysis and then provide a cross case analysis of the domains and categories identified. Researcher B ias This dissertation topic emerged from my experience as a Latina doctoral student, after being raised in a Hispanic community in the United States T here I had great exposure to a supportive environment but also experienced some discrimination because of my cultural background as I moved away from home. Also, during my doctoral schooling, I met another Latina at another University who was completing her doctoral degree in a similar field and our interaction prompted my idea for this dissertation. I have always been passionate about advocating for minorities from different backgr ounds and this topic of resiliency among Latina doctoral students aligned well with my own personal background Hence, it also served as a meaningful way for me to express my advocacy efforts for my own culture. Prior to the interview process, I participat ed in an interview with the external auditor to clarify any potential research bias I might have. Based upon the interview, I was able to identify two different biases that I had. The first bias I had was my belief that all other Latinas could have had the same opportunities and supports and the same obstacles or barriers to overcome as I have had. The second bias was my belief that all Latinas, regardless of their specific Hispanic background, would have similar experiences. The results of this study revea led that neither of my beliefs was accurate.
55 Within C ase A nalysis Molly Participant #1 Telephone screening Molly is a 51 year old first generation (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001) Mexican female, who identifies as Latina and Hispanic. She stated that she heard about the study from a college advisor. Molly requested an e mail screening as opposed to a telephone screening. Therefore, screening questions were typed and emailed to her and she responded to them via email. Molly met criteria for this study via the em ail screening. Molly reported that she was a Latina, enrolled as a doctoral student who had completed at least one year of doctoral studies, and was willing to discuss her schooling experience and the elements that contributed to her academic success with me while it is recorded and later transcribed. She also agreed to provide member checking after the interview was transcribed for greater accuracy. A meeting time and date was scheduled via e mail. Molly chose to have the interview in a conference room nea r her campus office. First impression s Molly was dressed in casual business clothing. She was a few minutes late for the interview and appeared rushed. She greeted me at her office door and was soft spoken but outgoing and friendly. Prior to the intervie w she expressed concerns about who would be reading the transcriptions and appeared slightly nervous about what she stated during the interview. Despite her stated concerns, she agreed to the interview H owever, she asked that her transcripts not be inclu ded in the dissertation. Yet, she agreed that quotes from the interview could be used. During the interview, she initially appeared to be slig htly anxious answering question, but as rapport was built she seemed more comfortable and was more talkative and expressive about her experiences. After
56 completing the interview, Molly spoke in Spanish and shared several additional challenging experiences that she did not want to include in the interview. She explained that she did not want to be easily identified. A s per her request, some of her responses to the demographic questionnaire have been generalized in this manuscript to protect her privacy. She cried during our meeting and acknowledged that it was comforting for her to meet another Latina doctoral student Educational background Molly had completed her Competency exam and ha d been accepted into doctoral candidacy at the time of the interview. She is majoring in Education. Molly reported that her mother had completed elementar y school and her father had completed vocational schooling. She has one older and six younger siblings. Molly was the first in her family to attend college and the first to complete a graduate degree. At this time, her older and younger siblings have follo wed in her footsteps and have completed Bachelor of Science degrees Educational experiences Molly discussed different experiences she had through schooling and doctoral schooling. At the Mast that I wanted to be a teacher s he looked at me like she told me that you have to take some continued think you can pass th feel that you are competent enough During our post interview discussion, she explained that she felt this was because of her cultural background. ring her doctoral schooling. She expressed a lack of understanding due to cultural issues such as language barriers and
57 lack of knowledge about American culture and socialization. For example She further reported being a non traditional student made it difficult at times for her to socialize and create interpersonal to find people with my same background at having difficulties forming her commit understand that it was not rejection Molly explains her understanding of professors different research interests and busy schedules. In contrast that I can relate to Throughout her discussion she referenced them as being supportive helpful interested in During her committee search, she was able to eel more comfortable wi t h me being around my cohort and my professors feel l ike that yet, but one day, I can feel that I am at home Personal characteristics: Taking initiative Molly exhibited a unique personal characteristic thro ugh her persistence to succeed academically. The theme of taking initiative arose during data analysis. Molly described having difficulties learning English,
58 obtaining he Molly encountered a classroom situation in which she did not have knowledge of the terminology the professor was using and could Another example of taking initiative is noted when Molly attempted to form new relationships with other Latinas by joining the Hispanic Association on her campus. Star Participant #2 Telephone screening Star is a 52 year old 1.5 generation (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001) Chilean and female, who identifies as Lati na. During the telephone screening Star seemed motivated to participate in the study and met criteria for participation. She stated that she knew about the study since she knew me and was willing to volunteer. Star identified as a Latina, and was enrolled as a doctoral student who had completed at least one year of doctoral studies. She was willing to discuss her schooling experience and the elements that contributed to her academic success with me while it is recorded and later transcribed. She also agree d to provide member checking after the interview was transcribed for greater accuracy. We scheduled a meeting time and date. Star chose to First impressions Star arrived half an hour late for the interview because her partner was not feeling well that morning and she had to run errands. She was dressed in casual clothing and was well groomed. She was energetic and engaging during the interview. Star knew me from previous educatio nal and interactions, which I believe led
59 to her appearing more comfortable during the interview process. She stated feeling comfortable providing information about her schooling experiences and was talkative, offering more in depth information as the inte rview progressed. Educational background studies and is majoring in Education. She stated that her mother had completed a college education and her father had obtained a law degree. She further rep orted being the oldest in her family and that she had a younger sister, age 49, who had completed a Bachelors in She included that she was the first of her siblings to obt Educational experiences Star reported that she had negative encounters with advisors along her educational journey. She recalls an interaction she had with a high school guidance counselor : They asked me, well, what is it that you want to do? I said, well, I think I want to Spanish, you may want to be a nurse or a teacher or something like that because you might have pr oblems with the having problems with the language at that time. I w as even in the gifted program. called professionals were into the military following high school, but was injured and decided to go to college instead. The military had offered to pay for her education. She recalled telling an advisor that she wanted to go to medical school, however the response she received was stated with a negative tone, It
60 applying t o medical school. Instead she applied to a university and obtained two undergraduate degrees in both Clinical Psychology and Industrial Psychology with a undergraduate and my mas abilities Star reported that she had previously been in another doctoral program and had gone so far as gaining All But Dissertation (ABD) status, but had not completed her She added that her new program has been balancing her family, job, and schooling. Personal characteristic: Perseverance A theme that surfaced during data analysis perseverance It seems as though Star faced several in order to achieve her personal goals. Although different advisors doubted her abi lities, Star seemed to persevere despite negative experiences and was ome of my own Gypsy Participant #3 Telephone screening Gypsy is a 26 year old second generation Cuban female who identifies as Hispanic and Latina. Originally, I received an e mail from Gypsy
61 stating that she had received a flyer about the study from a college faculty member through e mail. At the time, she was living in another city completing her doctoral internship Originally, the study criteria required that all participants meet on campus for the interview, however, prior to beginning the interview process I decided to change the criteria after realizing that during the summer months I would have a larger population to choose from if I expanded my criteria. Therefore, I contacted Gypsy a s econd time and agreed to travel to another city to meet her for t he interview. Gypsy met criteria for this study during the second telephone screening. She reported that she was a Latina, enrolled as a doctoral student who had completed at least one year o f doctoral studies, and was willing to discuss her schooling experience and the elements that contributed to her academic success with me while it is recorded and later transcribed. She also agreed to provide member checking after the interview was transcr ibed for greater accuracy. When we scheduled a meeting time and date Gypsy chose to have the interview at her home. First impressions Gypsy was soft spoken and well mannered. She was dressed casually and was warm and inviting. She seemed slightly anxiou s about the interview and was not very talkative at first. Even though she had reviewed the interview script prior to the interview and written down answers to each question. During the interview she became teary while talking about her feelings. She repor ted that she had forgotten the significance of her accomplishments I was really glad I had the opportunity to progress and shared additional experiences that we had had with a similar Latino mentor on campus. Towards the end we were both laughing together and crying together.
62 Educational background Gypsy reported that she had recently been admitted into doctoral candidacy and is majoring in Psychology. She sta ted that both her mother and father had completed graduate school and obtained doctoral degrees, however she did not specify whether they had obtained PhD or MD degrees. She also added that she had an older sister, age 27, who had completed high school an d attended some college. Gypsy was the first of her siblings to obtain a college degree. Educational experiences Gypsy explained that many times she felt as if her assi the importance of the financial support she received throughout her education. She that she was the only Latina in a cohort of twelve. Personal characteristic: Commitment A theme that arose during data analysis of commitment. Gypsy discussed across a whole bunch of unnecessary obstacles ema ining committed to her goals, s he explained Although she stated and stated scussing her accomplishment, she discussed this
63 For Gypsy, obtaining a doctoral education was a personal expectation and she appears to exhibit this in her commitment to obtain this goal. Raqu el Participant #4 Telephone screening Raquel is a 30 year old second generation Puert o Rican and Colo mbian female born and raised in New York City who identifies as Latina and Hispanic. Raquel contacted me via telephone at which time I conducted a tel ephone screening. She stated that she received a flyer from a friend. Raquel reported that she was a Latina, enrolled as a doctoral student who had completed at least one year of doctoral studies, and was willing to discuss her schooling experience and the elements that contributed to her academic success with me while it was recorded and later transcribed. She also agreed to provide member checking after the interview was transcribed for greater accuracy. We scheduled a meeting time and date H owever, Raqu el contacted me to reschedule a day prior to the interview. Raquel chose to have the interview at a graduate assistant office on campus. First impression Raquel was dynamic and talkative. She was dressed casually and was a half hour late because she ne eded to leave her young daughter with someone prior to the interview. She appeared very comfortable about the interview and was readily able to provide detailed responses to questions. After the interview she asked me additional questions about my doctoral education progress and she shared additional feelings about her experience which she did not want mentioned in the results of the study Educational background Raquel is completing her doctoral dissertation and is majoring in Nursing. She stated that her mother did not finish high school, but completed
64 up to the ninth grade H er father also did not finish high school and completed either the sixth or seventh grade. Raquel is the eldest sister and has a younger sister, age 29; who of Science in Biology and is a high school science teacher. Educational experiences Raquel recalled that entering her doctoral program was many times I felt over my head and questioned can I do this? She explained She stated that she often Raquel stated that she was able to obtain funding and reimbursement for her of us Personal characteristic: Obligation One theme that surfaced during data analysis obligation. Raquel seemed to express a sense of obligation to complete her doctoral degree. For instance, she reported that she wanted to of a duty Carolina Participant #5 Telephone screening Carolina is a 38 year old second generation Nicaraguan American female who identified as Latina. Carolina c ontacted me via telephone and left a message on my voicemail at which time I contacted her via telephone for a telephone
65 screening. She stated that she had seen one of the posted flyers on campus. Carolina reported that she was a Latina, enrolled as a doct oral student who had completed at least one year of doctoral studies, and was willing to discuss her schooling experience and the elements that contributed to her academic success with me while it is recorded and later transcribed. She also agreed to provi de member checking after the interview was transcribed for greater accuracy. We scheduled a meeting time and date but Carolina contacted me to reschedule a few days prior to the interview. Carolina chose to have the interview at a library study room on ca mpus. First impressions Carolina was warm and forthcoming. She was dressed casually and was a half an hour late because she was taking care of her daughter. She appeared comfortable and immediately engaged i n conversation with me asking about my progra m of study. After the interview we briefly discussed resources for Latinas on campus. Educational background Carolina currently has ABD status and is majoring in Anthropology. She reported that both her father and mother completed high school and that s he is the eldest of two sisters and the first to go to college in her family and She did not specify in what field. Educational experiences Carolina reports that she was unaware of all the ins and outs of getting into college. She recalled a conversation with a high school he reflected on this As Carolina reflected on her educational experiences, she recalled that it has taken
66 her longer to complete her degree than she wanted t many times classes were late in the evening which was She stated that she ha s received a lot of support from different advisors, as well as these ex Personal characteristic: Innate desire interview the theme of innate desire degree that I start She explains that while she was in high school, she was ready to finish and continue to work Genesis Participant #6 Telephone screening Genesis is a 31 year old second generation Puerto Rican female who identi fies as Latina. Genesis contacted me via telephone and left a message on my voicemail at which time I contacted her via telephone for a telephone screening. She stated that she had received a flyer from a friend. Genesis reported that she was a Latina, enr olled as a doctoral student who had completed at least one year of doctoral studies, and was willing to discuss her schooling experience and the elements that contributed to her academic success with me while it is recorded and later transcribed.
67 She also agreed to provide member checking after the interview was transcribed for greater accuracy. A meeting time and date was scheduled, however, Genesis contacted me to reschedule a few days prior to the interview. Genesis chose to have the interview at her off campus office. First impression Genesis wa s vibrant and lively. She greeted me in the waiting room of her office and led me to her work room. She wa s dressed in a white lab coat and business professional attire. She seemed comfortable meeting with me a nd openly answered my questions. She engaged me in brief discussion about my schooling prior to the interview and discussed her research interests with me. After the interview she discussed her progress in her program and talked briefly about her quantitat ive dissertation. Educational background Genesis wa s completing her dissertation at the time of the interview and was majoring in Nursing. She stated that her mother completed a Arts degree while Genesis was in the sixth grade and her fa ther completed high school. She reported that she has a younger sibling who has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree. Genesis is the first to obtain a graduate degree in her family. Educational experiences Genesis reported that her educational experience has journey. Another challenge for her was balancing her family, work, and school. She graduate assistantship primarily because of family obligations and financial struggles.
68 Genesis discusses the importance of having other women, other Latinas, and this Personal characteristics: Independence interview, the theme of value arose. Genesis appears to value education and stated th at it referred to the difference in cultural values between American culture and Lati na culture often get sort of tied down thinking that they can depend on a man or case always the case in the future. she felt some Latina women depend on their partner to be the family bread winner; however, she valued t he significance of an education and the independence that it can yield for women. Across C ase A nalysis In the previous section I introduced variations that were classified as participant significant themes or personal characteristics In this section, I will discuss additional domains and categories that surfaced during my across case data analysis. I will note themes that arose within each domain and category and I will account for triangulation of e literature.
69 Domain O ne: Overall R eaction to E ducational E xperiences General impressions During the interview participants were asked the following question: Can you tell me what the doctoral education experience has been like for you? I coded the ir res ponses based on whether or not the participant had a positive, negative, or neutral reaction. I clustered the responses along a negative to positive continuum and then reviewed each category for themes. Figure 2 (p. 72) depicts the breakdown of categories experiences. These themes arose from recurring words or phrases in the data collected
70 Figure 2 Categories and Themes in Domain One _____________________________________________________________________ Note Figure 2 depicts the data reduction process of Domain One. The top of the figure illustrates the data that was grouped into the categories and clustered into Domains. The synthesis looked at the positive and negative statements regarding the participant nge of reactions were assigned from which five themes arose. Overall Reaction to Educational Experiences Overall Synthesis of Positive and Negative Statements General Impressions Barriers or Struggles Positive Elements Competence Time Management Expectations Desire Integration
71 that she was a non people like m statements as well as those that followed appeared to be predominantly negative and were do this with been able to create some of my own interests and the people have been able to work with followed appeared to be predominantly positive. As opposed to her negative responses, Molly indicated a positive response by class tonight where there are many from my department. It will make things easier to ask for across a whole then my overall general impression was coded as neutral. Howe ver, if the statements were balanced but seemed to lean more towards positive or negative, then I coded them as neutral negative or neutral positive. Like Gypsy, Carolina also seemed to express both
72 positive and negative experiences. She reports that while having a child and having to work more assistantships than the average student would have to or seek additional funding wherever possibl One recurring theme in these statements reflected the feelings the participants expressed about integration When analyzing the theme of integration, it seems that and professors in their programs or lack thereof. For example, from the quotes above, Molly say that know any. That makes it difficult for me t o relate to others. I can tell you there were some classes where the whole sem an d no one talked to me, either. She also stated that she would be in a class this seme ster with other students from her integrated, she was hopeful that she would have the opport 2001) study results, which found that Latina doctoral students felt like outsiders in their programs and felt there was a lack of Latina representation in their programs.
73 Star appears to feel fully integrated in her p rogram, Gypsy seemed to have a more neutral negative reaction. Genesis stated that it was important for me to have other particularly minority students other women, and so no t to be in a program where I am the only one has been important to similar to Star. Another theme that surfaced during the data analysis o their overall doctoral educational experiences was the theme of competence It appears that participants either perceived themselves as being knowledgeable and competent in their courses as well as their roles as Teaching Assis tants or perceived themselves as being unknowledgeable and inadequate. For example as mentioned earlier, Molly recalled an academic situation in which she did not understand the language the professor used in class due to a cultural barrier. She stated th about her knowledge and abilities, lea ving her feeling incompetent at times. Barriers and struggles As part of the interview, participants were asked the through your doctoral education? In response to thi
74 course, but not during her doctoral education were not related to h er schooling, therefore, she had a positive reaction. She also references her d reactions. Raquel reflected on mes, if what interests you is not what hey are interested in rted having difficulties assembling to the point I experiences ssors were that sometimes, professors were too busy to reach out and really help students as
75 negative because she had a negative reaction. Carolina also addressed the issue of time and reports that: in the history of academia in this country, post graduate studies were usually the leisure class or had the ability to do that in terms of time and economics. I think it w as difficult. I think people were very supportive of me and sympathetic to my situation, but the way that classes are structured or whateve r that I were coded as mostly negative however they were not completely negative ; therefore, she had a neutral negative reaction. One theme that arose from participant struggles they experienced was the theme of time management If participants viewed themselves as being able to manage their time effectively and balance their, family, work, and home life, they felt less distressed H owever, those struggling to find this balance appeared to express more distress and difficulties. For example, Carolina indicated that personal circumstances with rega r d to having a child and having to work more This seems to suggest that Carolina experienced greater distress because she had to balance multiple factors in order to be successful. Her reaction appear ed to be negative. Molly also expressed her inability to socialize often and to
76 that Molly had a nega tive reaction to time management issues. a doctoral student and just to think been the most challenging part. Genesis appeared to have a negative reaction to balancing academia with family and jobs. Star seemed to have a negative reaction to issues of time management as well. W hile have to still be inv olved in that. I have an eleven year balancing. appears that her ability to find funding also helped her find greater balance. She stat ed the stress produced from time management issues. Positive characteristics factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? As well as: What factors influenced you decision to seek a doctoral education? These questions were aimed at identifying personality traits or characteristics that persistent Latina doctoral students possess.
77 During data a theme of family expectation as four out of six participants agreed that they felt that going to college was expected of them by their parents or was an expectation that they set for themselv es. With regards to pursuing a college education, Carolina recalls very bright. By the time I got to high school, I was kind of done with high school. I s education you have, the more power you have. Not necessarily monetary power, but also Star explained that she had family me mbers that had completed graduate programs I knew it was pretty much the next step fo too felt it was an theme of personal desire arose personal desire to complete a PhD. With regards to pursuing a doctoral education, Gyps y
78 ding a job after degree was very marketable. Although she worked for a while, s he stated that is when she thing that brought me back to school or that kept me in s chool more knowledge is Domain T (2004) R esiliency M odel conce pts of social competence, problem solving, autonomy, and sense of purpose. Below I provide an explanation of my findings. Concept of social competence social competence t o communicate. It also refers to the to exhibit social competence while speaking of the committee search process. She remembered feeling rejected by professors who refused to serve as her advisors. Following the interview Molly disclosed that she has felt rejected by others throughout her life because of her skin color or her hair. She recalls perceiving her experiences with professors as a rejection because of thes e cultural factors. During the interview she stated,
79 explanation of the positive i mpact that professors had on her. For example, she recalled, the people who were interested in not only the topic that I In addition to Molly, this concept s She promised me that the benefits of hol Star also appeared to be resilient in continuing her education after having left Star also remembered a situation in high school when a guidance counselor dissuaded her from becoming a doctor considering she was Spanish. She stated: I decided to give myself my own advice. I looked at people around and people that I looked up to, a nd I thought they had great jobs. I really liked who they were as they developed as women especi want to do. If they did it, how hard can it be? Let me try. And I just totally ignored it. Here, it appears that Star was able to be resilient in the face of oppression due to the influence that other positive female role models had on her. The theme of social competence to what he average student
80 would do or is or how the average student is as opposed to the circumstance of students have had that many individuals that could assist her in overcoming financial obstacles that she faced because of her background. Raquel also appears to have had a pos itive teacher who influenced her ability to Later she attributed her self perception of being a cultural factor s had a positive impact on her ability to be resilient during times when she might have felt al one. Concept of problem solving Another concept presented by Bernard (2004) was the theme of problem solving ability to plan and think critically as well as the ability to be resourceful. This theme problem solving also arose during data fter
81 Here she appears to have planned ahead taking into consideration her personal circumstances. She also appeared to be resourceful as she described that she worked Raquel appears to exhibit the concept of problem solvi ng as she speaks of her eems that Raquel is also able to be flexible in her thinking as she refers to her dual role as a mother and a student. She stated: want to do this as opposed to rying to focus on the positive. Concept of autonomy Bernard (2004) proposed the concept of autonomy as the ability of a n individual to be independent and assertive, while also having self confidence n egative situations that I had early on when I first came to the United States really molded me to go forward and do what I wanted to do and kind of fight the system. I have her
82 As mentioned earlier, Star was able to reject negative advice from a guidance counselor The concept of autonomy problems immigrants have is because they do not assimilate or they do not integrate to I need to und erstand that when they look at me and understand that some of my the things I do are also part of my culture. I know that I have to respect their part, but I would like them to also kno think that in order to fit, I have to forget all that. It seems that Molly is able to assert her feelings and thoughts about being from a different cultural background. Concept of sense of purpose the concept of sense of purpose This concept refers to the ability of an individual to find mind. The way you think about li fe
83 appears that one of the purposes for her to further her education is to have a positive influence in the lives of others. While discussing her experience of being a Latina doctoral student, Gypsy stated the theme of sense of purpose Gypsy has been able to find meaning in w hat she is doing in her desire to be a role model expressed having a purpose for their family but also to their community. For Star, is seems that she found personal meaning in pursuing a doctoral education as she challenged her own abilities to get a PhD. She stated just wanted to go through the challenge of getting the PhD to see if I could do appears that part of her motivations came from her desire to prove to herself and others
84 Table 5 Resilie ncy Concepts by Participant _____________________________________________________________________ Participant Resiliency Concepts Social Problem Autonomy Sense of Purpose Competence Solving ______________________________________________________ _______________ Molly X X Star X X X Raquel X X X Gypsy X X Carolina X Genesis X X _____________________________________________________________________ Table 5 illustrates that each participant exhibited at least one of these resiliency skills. The theme of social competence interviews. It is possible that these Latina doctoral students are resilient primarily due to supportive people i n their lives, such as family, mentors, and professors. The concept of problem solving is evident in the responses provided by both Raquel and Genesis, while the concept of autonomy was reflected in the stories shared by Molly and Star. It seems that these two resiliency skills, while present, are not key in the academic persistence and success of Latina doctoral students. Finally, the concept of sense of purpose surfaced for Gypsy, Star, and Raquel. It appears that these Latina doctoral students were resil ient because they were able to find meaning in what they were doing. Furthermore, it is
85 doctoral students. From this analysis, it is evident that the resiliency skil l of social competence is an important element in the success of Latina doctoral students, followed by a sense of purpose. However, problem solving and autonomy do not appear to foster resiliency in these Latina doctoral students. Domain T hree: Impact on A cademic P ersistence Participants were asked the following question during the interview process: What factors helped you succeed/or get this far? This question was created to elicit elements Greatest supports Four of the six participants described having supportive family members ys made sure that I did my homework not corrected it or went through it with me, but making sure that I was helping me take care of my children and giving me more time to study when I would normally be taking care of to anthropology and what the college students and doctoral students (Gloria, Ca stellanos, Lopez, & Rosales, 2005; Gonzalez, 2005).
86 Participants also expressed the supportive role that their mentors, advisors and faculty members played in their persistence. For example, Genesis recalled that: my major advisor, who recruited me in to this program, is very supportive of me taking my time gong through my program and understanding the things that may take a little bit longer because I have a famil y and I work and go to school. too University that have served as mentors or accomplished so far. She promised me that the benefits of holding a PhD would be worth reiterate previous research findings indicating that faculty and staff mentors influence the decision of students to complete a college and doctoral education (Gloria, Castellanos, Lopez, & Rosales, 2005; Gon zalez, 2005). Two of the four participants referenced their friends as being supportive. For able to form positive relationships with other minority doctoral students. In addition to friends two of the four participants referenced significant others as being supportive throughout their schooling. For example, Genesis reported that her
87 h ort and motivat ion In addition to significant people who served as support for participants, four of the six participants also reported that financial assistance had helped them get this far in their y finances taken care of either if I had for every penny of m y undergraduate and received financial assistance. S so they were financial assistance in the form of fellowships and scholarships were also found to be supportive factors in the persistence of Latina doctoral students.
88 The findings of this st udy are consistent with the literature in describing family support, financial support, and faculty/mentor support as being helpful in fostering resiliency skills in Latina college students (Arellano & Padilla, 1996; Ceballo, 2004; Gloria, Castellanos, Lop ez, & Rosales, 2005; McHatton, Zalaquett, & Cranston Gingras 2006; Gonzalez, 2006; Gonzalez, 2007; Gonzalez, 2001; Zalaquett, 2005). Motivating factors In addition to family members, participants described having supportive role models For example, Raqu employability arose as a concern for two of the participants. When asked about the factors influencing their decision to seek a doctoral education, some participants r and I had a after the first graduate degree led these women to continue their education. As mentioned previously, financial assistance appears to ha ve been a source of support for several of the participants; however, it also appears to have been a theme that Like Gypsy, Star reflected on
89 Some additional observations that I made were that four of the six participants reported being the oldest sibling in their family and thre e of the six participants reported being the first to attend college in their family. All participants stated that they were the rtance of being a role model and influencing others. These women were the first of their siblings to pursue a college education regardless of birth order and all of them continued post undergraduate studies. Figure 3 illustrates the categories and themes o f this domain. Figure 3 Categories and Themes of Domain Three Domain F our: Recommendations Suggested changes Participants offered a content rich source of data when asked: What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their Academic Persistence Family Financial Support Advisors, Faculty, and Mentors Friends Financial Support Role Models First to go to college Employ abili t y
90 education? Participants were also asked: What could high schools, colleges and/or universities do to encourage Latinas to further their education? Responses from these questions are provided below and were then clustered into themes regarding suggested changes. When asked about what educators could do to help Latinas further their education, Genesis replied: Culturally, we have certain different expectations of women in our culture. mportant to keep these things into Latinas who may need different things from you because of either their own family being a working mom or their family hem as wel l. re going to want to do may vary depending on their home situation. Latinas are less likely to go away to close to ho me or to be living at home, so those are all things that they h ave to take into consideration. It appears that she is suggesting that advisors or school counselors consider cultural factors such as family values and expectations when assisting Latina students in their decision making and future career planning . Thi s is not to say that family members should be involved in career exploration at this level, however, it might benefit Latina doctoral students to explore how their cultural values and expectations impact their decision making. Star cautions against stereot careful not to stereotype people, especially women, and especially Latina women. I think Raquel added that one factor that can help Latina s hould reach out to Latina students
91 her recommendations by stating: me official mentors, and that makes a big difference, just knowing that there are Latina women out there in positions of power, responsibility and that they also h ave families if they choose to. Molly expressed that she too feels role models are impo having a role model is powerful, maybe we need to provide our young girls with role suggests funding role of mentors by Latinas and Latinos because of the personal circumstances or socioeconomic background Participants were also asked what recommendations they would give to high schools, colleges, and/or universities to encourage Latinas to further their education. Gypsy rec of various ethni c and cultural backgrounds so that kids know that they can do that and
92 before hi gh school. We need to have elementary school Latina females working with a education and to get them to think about what they can do for themselves, right? To value that college education. The y need to teach these women or these young girls about the opportunities that exist out there if they get a college education and what that can mean for their life how it can be different from what they have at home or not If they had parents who were college educated, maybe take the next step and going to grad school. She also discussed the idea that Latinas: going to be a man to take care of them, and that may have been the case in their house, important to stress. encourage kids to learn a wide v ariety of things including arts and those types of things usually the child explaini mentorship arose. It appears that some participants recommended that educators serve as mentors and role models to Latina students. There is evidence of thi
93 ne that you can talk to that will of professionals of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds so that kids know that they than just adult mentors I think that, for instance, the fourth graders should maybe two years older than you or two grades above, that is very reac stepping stone. Star seems to suggest that mentorships should begin prior to high school. Another theme that arose from data analysis was the theme of increased knowled ge of cultural issues Participants recommend that educators consider cultural factors when assisting their students in career planning. For example, Genesis explained on confidence in their skills and abilities. It appears that she is Moreover, it is possible that this knowledge of cultural issues may help educators be m ore sensitive to mentorship or advising their students. This cultural competence may help students feel
94 more comfortable in seeking a mentor. In addition to these themes, anot her theme that surfaced was the theme of resources Participants suggested that educators provide Latina students with increased knowledge about the university system and the resources and opportunities available to them. For example, Molly encouraged educ to girls about the importance of getting an education in this country and this economy, and by that, I mean graduating fr om university and possibly thinking about graduate resources as she described that students. Advice to students Parti cipants were also asked to share the advice they would give Latina high school students and undergraduates to help them succeed in college. esponses, the theme of personal preparation arose. For regards to the college application and admissions process and what they want to study even in general and have so out abo ut scholarships, grades keep your grades up and have an idea of what you want
95 help you be oriented person, and they have t One sub theme that arose during the data a included: tracking As partic i pants discussed the need to better prepare oneself for college, p articipants explained that one way of preparing oneself was to remain on a college bound track throughout their schooling. For example, Molly advised that students and take the classes they need to tak Starting early and making sure not preparing kids for college. Getting kid s, especially girls, into the honors classes there are different programs that a re available now that gear the ich parents maybe have not had college d egrees how. The theme of mentorship als a mentor of some sort somebody who has gone through this ahead of you and who can advise you on how to be
96 C arolina added that There are a lot of people at universities that can help you. It is important that you seek them out. That also requires some legwork, but once you get hooked up with one of those helpful people, they can show you the ropes and help y ou get through the process. experience is always seek out mentors that are Latina that can help you with their experiences and show you the ropes and kind of tell you Figure 4 below provides an illustration of the categories and themes that emerge d during Figure 4 Categories and Themes in Domain Four Recommendations Suggested Changes for Educators and Schools Advice to Students Mentorships Knowledge of Cultural Issues Resources Personal Preparation Mentorships Tracking
97 Summary Th e results of this study indicate that participants exhibited several personal resiliency skills including: taking initiative, perseverance, commitment, obligation, innate desire, and independence. Furthermore, results from this study provide empirical supp ort doctoral students do not exhibit all of these skills. In addition to these resiliency skills, the study results show that a number of themes surfaced during across case analysis of the overall reactions to educational experiences such as integration, competence, time management, family expectations, and desire These themes will be further discussed in Chapter five in the context of (a) overall reactions to educatio nal experiences; (b) recommendations. Implications for advocacy will be presented in the form of recommendations to educators, high schools, colleges, universities, and a dvisors working with Latina doctoral students. I will also present limitations of this study as well as recommendations for use of the study findings, and recommendations for future research in this area.
98 Chapter 5 Summary and Conclusions In Cha pter four I introduced the results from this study and the categories that surfaced from data collected The categories included: (a) General impressions; (b) Perceived barriers or struggles; (c) Personal characteristics; (d) Concept of social competence; (e) Concept of problem solving; (f) Concept of autonomy; (g) Concept of sense of purpose; (h) Greatest Supports; (i) Motivating factors; (j) Suggested changes for educators, high schools, colleges and/or universities; and (k) Advice to students. These cat egories were then clustered into four domains including: (a) Overall reactions to academic persistence; and (d) Recommendations. During data analysis, different themes and sub themes emerged within each domain illustrating the experiences of multiple participants. This chapter also present s a summary including a statement of the problem under investigation, the methodology proposed and followed, as well as the findings fo r each domain. The emerging themes and sub themes will be further addressed in this chapter in the context of resiliency skills in academically persistent Latinas doctoral students. I will also present the implications of the limitations of this study as w ell as the contributions of this study and suggestions for educators, colleges and universities, and advisors. I will also provide recommendations for future research in this area.
99 Statement of the P roblem This research was guided by the goal of better un derstand ing resiliency as it relates to academically persistent and successful Latina doctoral students. Variables that have had a positive influence on the decision of Latinas to complete a college education and obtain a college degree include: familial support, influence of peers who exhibit college survival skills, cultural congruity with their college environment, faculty and staff mentors, including Latina/o faculty and staff who have successfully achieved their academic goals (Gloria, Castellanos, Lo pez, & Rosales, 2005; Gonzalez, 2005). It is important that we learn more about these variables and others that help Latinas be resilient and persistent in achieving their academic goals. This study examined the following primary issues: (a) the barriers or challenge s that these Latina doctoral students encountered as they navigated their doctoral education; and (b) the resiliency skills that persistent Latina doctoral students exhibit along with the elements that fostered these resiliency skills. Methodo logy This research wa s a collective case study of the resiliency skills that aid in the success of Latina doctoral students. All data were collected through the use of semi structured interviews and the data from the interview s were then audio taped and t ranscribed verbatim. The six participants ranged in ages from twenty s i x to fifty two, and they voluntarily agreed to participate in the study. Transcript s were read numerous times and coded for themes. The data collected w ere clustered into eleven categor ies, which were then reduced into four domains. An auditor evaluated the design of the study as well as the analysis of the data in order to establish trustworthiness of the study.
100 Findings Findings in this study are a reflection of the experiences of six Latina doctoral students from a large metropolitan university in an urban southeastern communit y. Twenty seven percent of the s tate of Florida is Latina/o. It is also important to note that the U niversity at which these students are completing their deg re es is not known as a Latina/o serving institute. This information is presented to illustrate that all findings reported from this study are based on the experiences of these six participants and the impact of their interactions and experiences in their cur rent environment. The findings depict the challenges faced by Latina students during their doctoral schooling and the elements fostering their resiliency and academic persistence as conceived by the six participants of this study The findings also serve a resiliency theory. The findings of this study have been analyzed for thematic content and reviewed by an external auditor. The auditor in this study was a fellow doctoral candidate who has completed her dissertation and ha s experience coding and analyzing qualitative data. The data presented are the product of collaboration between the auditor and myself Domain One: Overall Reactions to Educational E xperiences Data was categorized into eleven groups and then clustered int o four domains. Each category was analyzed to depict common themes. Participant specific themes were presented and discussed during within case analysis. Themes surfaced during across case analysis were included in the four domains. Domain One included the categories of data pertaining to the overall reaction of the participants to their educational experiences. The analysis of the data presented four themes and one sub theme. The synthesis of positive
101 statements produced commentary on the family expectatio ns that motivated participants In their explanations of family expectations participants explained their own personal desire to pursue a doctoral education, which produced the sub theme of personal desire This sub ated that The negative statements provided by participant s yielded the two themes of competence and time management neutral statements yielded the theme of integration Some participants expressed feeling integrated in their doctoral programs while others did not. This is captured in Molly and
102 Table 6 Themes Related to the Educational Experiences of Latinas _____________________________________________________________________ General Impressions Barriers & C hallenges Positive Characteristics _____________________________________________________________________ Lack of confidence Family Expectations in competence Time Management Personal Desire Isolation Integration __________ ___________________________________________________________ interviews. As a Latina doctoral student, I too have had moments in which I lacked confidence in my abilitie s to teach or publish research at the doctoral level. I had moments early on in my teaching experiences, when I too questioned whether or not I was being an effective instructor or competent professional in my field. Unlike most of the study participants, I did not have a family of my own; therefore I do not have to balance as many factors as the participants. While the issue of time management was an unexpected theme that arose, reflecting back on my own experience, I did have to find a way to balance full time work and full time school and effective time management was vital to my success. In regards to the issue of integration, I thought that this could be an issue that might be discussed by participants based on previous challenging experiences that I ha integrated with my peers. Instead I felt isolated from several of my peers because of my cultural background. However, upon entering the doctoral program, I felt integrated
103 imme diately and the positive relationships I was able to form with my cohort and other doctoral students played a vital role in my academic persistence. In addition to these themes, I can relate to the theme of expectations. Although it was never stated, I alw ays felt an expectation from my parents t hat I should go to college I think this was mostly because of the lack of opportunities that they had growing up. I felt an obligation to take advantage of educational opportunities as they arose. Aside from their expectation, from early childhood I also had an innate desire to obtain the highest level of education possible in the field I was most passionate about. Like one of the participants, I too wanted to put myself to the challenge. It was interesting to see t hese themes surface, analyzed the variables contributing to my resiliency. odel plored in Domain Two. All of the social competence There is after what I accomplished so far. She promise d me that the benefits of holding a PhD Another theme explore d was problem solving Two of the six participants appeared to exhibit this theme through planning and resourcefulness. This is noted in me the flexibility and option problem solving the concept of autonomy
104 also surfaced in data analysis referred to, Molly asserted that she Here she is referencing integration with the American educational culture. Star seemed to hav e confidence in herself, while Molly had the ability to assert her feelings and feeling in control of her life. Personally, I could relate to both participants because I consider my self a very independent person and have tried to maintain autonomy in my de cision making process t hroughout my doctoral education to make it more meaningful for me. An additional resiliency theme explored was sense of purpose. Three of the six participants seemed to find meaning in their experiences as doctoral students. For exa Aft er careful analysis of the data it appears that Latina doctoral students all is likely that this skill was fostered due to the positive in t eractions that participants had with family, friends, mentors, professors, and advisors. This is not a surprising finding because the Hispanic culture is a collectivist culture in which family, extended family, neighbors, and other community mentors can play an active role in the lives of an individual. It ha s been my experience that this skill alone helped me be most resilient as I navigated my own doctoral studies. Having continued support form professors, financial advisors, family, friends, and other students encouraged me to move forward.
105 It seems that t he resiliency skill of autonomy was not a common skill present and gender. In the Hispanic culture, women are not always expected to be autonomous as in the United St ates. Rather, many Latinas are expected to stay close to their family and attend a college close to home. Additionally, the theme of problem solving appeared to be present, however, the manner in which Latinas problem solved seemed different to the definit ion provided by Bernard (2004). Latinas are more likely to discuss difficult issues with family and significant others when problem solving instead of doing so independently. The resiliency skill of sense of purpose appeared to be present in half of the p articipants. It is possible that their sense of responsibility to others played a role in their desire to succeed academically as well as their perseverance and commitment As a few participants discussed wanting to be good role models for their children, but also for other Latinas. I can relate to this resiliency skill, because it has been the driving force that led me to attend college and continue my education, as I wanted to be a good role model for my sisters, cousins, and other Latinas. I think that t his might have something to do with negative stereotypes of Latina women that are portrayed in American media and an innate desire to challenge those stereotypes. Domain T hree: Impact on A cademic P ersistence This study investigated the factors that foster ed resiliency skills in academically successful Latinas. Domain three focused on the greatest supports and motivating factors having supportive family members For e xample, Genesis expresses this is her statement,
106 participants also shared the supportive role that their mentors, advisors and faculty members played in their persistence. For example, Molly reported that she found Two of the four participants stated that their friends were also supportive. For example, Gypsy mention friends Genesis, Raquel, and Gypsy referenced significant others as being supportive throughout their schooling. Gyp In addition to significant people who served as support for participants, four of the six participants also reported that fina ncial support had helped them get this far in their In addition to these supports participants also referenced additional motivating factors which helped them persist academically. Raquel reported that role models were influential in her persisten ce. For example, she stated that she
107 role and I thought they ha d great jobs. I really liked who they were as they developed as Another theme that surfaced during data analysis was employ ability. This is comparati As mentioned previously, financial support appears to have also been a Finally, one observation was that four of the six participants reported being the oldest sibling in their family and three of the six participants reported being the first to attend college Al l of these women were fi rst generation college graduate among their siblings. Table 7 Elements that Fostered Resiliency in Latina Doctoral Students _____________________________________________________________________ Greatest Supports Motivating Fact ors _____________________________________________________________________ Family members Role models Faculty, mentors, & advisors Financial Support Friends Perceived Employ ability _______________________________________________________________ ______ (table continues )
108 Table 7 (continued) ________________________________________________________________________ Greatest Supports Motivating Factors __________________________________________________________________ ______ Significant Other s Family expectations Financial Support Desire to succeed Valued education Sense of Accomplishment Sense of Responsibility to others _____________________________________________________________________ While reviewing these fi ndings, it is not surprising that family members, faculty, mentors, and advisors were among greatest supports. Ceballo (2004) found that faculty role models and mentors were also related to Latina undergraduate academic success. Moreover Arellano and Padilla (1996) also found that parental support and encouragement were signif ic ant factors related to Lati na undergraduate Likewise, McHatton, Zalaquett, and C ran son G ing r as (2006) and Zalaquett(2005) found that successful undergraduate students had a strong familial bond. Similar to my findings, these authors discovered that students had a drive to succeed Additionally, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of responsibility to others, valued education, and financial assista nce research with undergraduate Latina students. Also, Gonzalez (2006) found that financial assistance was related to Latina doctoral student success. Furthermore, Gonzalez (2007) found that a strong sens e of purpose to family, community, and society was related to
109 academic success among Latina doctoral students. S ignificant others and friends are not mentioned in the resiliency literature reviewed ; therefore, these may be specific to Latina doctoral stu dents. Again, this may be due to their collectivist cultural background. perceived employability was a motivating factor, since there is no t mention of this in the literature. Another surprising finding was that fami ly expectations were also a motivating factor for Latina doctoral students. It may be that this finding is due to their cultural background. Domain F our: Recommendations This domain examined the suggestions and advice that participants would give to othe r Latina students, educators, high school, colleges and universities. Results of this study indicate a theme of mentorship var ious ethnic and cultural backgrounds so that kids know that they can do that and they knowledge of cultural issues i resources the op In their advice to other Latina students, the theme of personal preparation arose. For example, Carolina st
110 grades keep your grades up and theme that arose was tracking Participants explained that one way of preparing oneself was to remain on a col lege bound track throughout their schooling. For example, Molly advises mentorship was also discussed by several a mentor of some sort somebody who has gone through this ahead of you and who can advise you on how Table 8 Recommendations of Latina Doctoral Stude nts _____________________________________________________________________ Suggestions to educators, high schools, Advice to Students colleges, and universities _____________________________________________________________________ Mentorship Personal Preparation Knowledge of cultural issues Tracking Resources Mentorship _____________________________________________________________________ Upon review of these findings, it is not surprising that Latina doctoral student would sugges t increased mentorship for Latina students, because positive mentorships appear to foster social competence resiliency skills among successful Latina doctoral students. As an instructor and therapist, I recognize the importance of multicultural diversity a nd competence, therefore, it is not surprising to find that knowledge of cultural issues may be helpful for educators as they engage in career discussions with Latina students. Taking
111 cultural factors into consideration may ease the decision making process for Latinas. Also, from my own experience, I can relate to the themes of participation and mentorship, because they played key roles in my success. However, I was surprised about the theme of tracking. It appears that greater resources and availability of education options for students are important as students begin to plan for college Participant Specific T hemes Data from this category have already been discussed in detail throughout the discussion of the data. Participant specific themes refer to uni que themes that surfaced for each participant. traditional first this country. She explained that on feeling alone during her doctoral sch ooling experience and having difficulties integrating with Anglo American students and professors because of other obligations, such as family. Further research is needed to build an understanding of the schooling experiences of first generation Latina stu dents in general and more specifically, Latina doctoral students. data. She greatly contributed to the experiences of traditional, second generation students. She emphasizes t he importance of financial assistance for U.S. born Latina doctoral students as well as mentorships. Having gone directly to graduate school after
112 commitment. F u ture re search should focus on the experiences of traditional Latina doctoral students and the resiliency skills and supports that aid in their persistence during long term continuous full time education. Participant specific data yielded greater support for the four domains of data and provided greater levels of understanding. The rich data collected for this study provided a better understanding of the educational experiences of Latina doctoral students, including the factors that foster resiliency, as well as c hallenges that they face. The data gathered for this study generated recommendations for educators and schools, colleges, and universities when working with Latina students. In the next section, I will detail the contributions of this study. Table 9 Summar _____________________________________________________________________ Challenges Factors Leading to Success __ ___________________________________________________________________ L ack of confidence in F amily E xpectations competence Isolation Innate Desire Difficulties with time Feeling Integrated management Responsibilit y for caring Feeling Competent for children Social Competence Autonomy ________________ ________________________________________________________ (table continues)
113 Table 9 (continued) _____________________________________________________________________ Challenges Factors Leading to Success _________________________________ _______________ _____________________ Sense of Purpose Initiative Perseverance Commitment to education Independence S ense of Duty Financial assistance Support from mentors, faculty, & a dvisors Role models Perceived social support from family, friends, & significant others Perceived employ ability _____________________________________________________________________ After careful analysis of the data ga thered, findings from this study indicate Many of the themes that surfaced are consistent with the literature on factors contributing to Latina/o undergraduate academic success. Some of the findings parallel the available literature on African American female doctoral students. For example, social, financial, and familial support are all factors contributing to the academic success of these minority students
11 4 (Allen, 1987; Allen, 1992; Ca rroll, 1998; Cohen & Wills, 1985; Flint, 1992; Herndon & Additionally, personal qualities such as determination surfaced in the literature (King, 1994, b) on African American female doctoral stu resiliency model. However, only some factors resonated with the literature on Latina doctoral academic success such as financial assistance, autonomy, sense of purpose, and social competence Bas ed on both the literature and my personal experience I expected these findings, however, I was not expecting some of the themes that surfaced. For example, perceived employability was not referenced in the literature. Additionally, the participant specifi c themes were not referenced in the literature on Latina doctoral students. In regards to the challenges that Latina doctoral students endured, these findings provide support for the idea of isolation that Latina doctoral students perceive as referenced in the literature (Gonzalez, 2006; Gonzalez, 2007). However, this study presents new insights not reference d in the literature about the challenges experienced by Latina doctoral students, including: lack of confidence in competence, difficulties with time m anagement, and responsibility for caring for children. Contribution s of this S tudy (2004) resiliency theory and her theoretical concepts. The study also provides a significant advancement in the area of multicultural issues in education as related to Latinas in higher education. The barriers and challenges were cited as examples of the means by which the educational experience may affect the development of resiliency skills among Latinas. Likewise, the su pports and motivating factors were cited to better understand the elements contributing to the
115 academic success of Latina doctoral students. This is a critical advancement because most of the literature on Latinas and education has focused on the challenge s they experience instead of the factors that help them succeed. Furthermore, this study allowed Latina doctoral students to provide suggestions for advocacy efforts of both educators and schools. This study is unique in that it provides a comprehensive a nalysis of the elements that fostered resiliency skills in Latina doctoral students. It concludes with recommendations to educators, high school, colleges, and universities as well as suggestion for future research. Recommendations for A dvocacy The implic ations for advocacy are detailed throughout this manuscript; however I would like to outline important themes that surfaced. The results of this study are most intended for three groups, including: (a) educators, (b) high schools, (c) colleges and/or unive rsities. 1. It is important that educators, mentors, and advisors increase their knowledge on the cultural background of Latina students in general and the impact that cultural factors play in the lives of Latina doctoral students to better aid them in their decision making process as they navigate through doctor al studies Several participants provided this recommendation. 2. The role that mentors and role models appears to be an influential factor leading to the success of Latina students. Therefore, schools a nd colleges should have mentorship programs in place to guide new Latina students as they navigate through the educational system. School and colleges should also
116 have representatives from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds in different professional r oles on campus. 3. Schools and colleges should continue to implement programs directed towards minority students to orient them and their families to the educational system and various processes involved in continued education. 4. It is also important that educa tors at the high school level begin encour aging minority students to start planning for their careers early in their education, including information regarding tracking options. 5. B eginning mentorship programs as early as elementary may be helpful for Latina students, including both adult mentors and peer mentors. 6. S ome Latinas attempt to balance family and work while also obtaining doctoral degrees as non traditional students. Universities should investigate possible on campus day care options for students wi th children. 7. Financial assistance appears to play a crucial role in the motivation of Latinas to persist in their doctoral schooling. High schools, colleges, and universities should offer financial resources geared towards the recruitment of Latinas and pr ovide Latinas and their families with information regarding the application process for these awards. 8. Across disciplines, d octoral programs should consider promoting day time classes as opposed to evening classes for women with children Recommendation s f or A dditional R esearch Additional research in the area of Latina students is needed. Future research should focus on successful Latinas with professional degrees to examine the factors that
117 helped them transition into the career world and obtain job place ment. Also, further research should be conducted on the experiences of first generation Latinas as well as traditional Latina full time students. This study focused on Latinas who were already towards the end of the ir academic careers. Longitudinal studies may also provide insight schooling. In addition to Latinas, it is possible that other minority students may face similar challenges as they navigate through the ir doctoral education. Therefore, future research in this area may elicit new information regarding the factors leading to minority also identifying additional or similar challenges that these groups face. Limitations There ar e potential limitations to this study. For this study participants were selected from programs in which enrollment is primarily female. This understudied the experience of Latinas in non traditionally female p rograms. This selection was chosen due to limi ted time to establish contacts. Also, one participant who responded to a posted flyer was majoring in Engineering, a male dominated field; however she did not come to the interview and did not contact the researcher thereafter. Another limitation of this study was the short length of time of two of the interviews. This may have been due to the structured format of the interview. A semi structured interview may have produced greater reflections from participants, especially if additional probing questions were asked Also, all participants were from the same university, therefore, it is possible that the experiences of Latina doctoral students might have been different based on the institution attended.
118 In preparing for this study, one of my assumptions w as that Latina doctoral participants would feel more comfortable talking to me about their schooling experiences because I too am a Latina doctoral student While this may have been the case for some participants, I found that some participants were reluct ant to discuss any negative schooling experiences while being recorded. This result appears to align with a predictable response described by Bernard (2000) as deference effect Deference effect refers to times during the interview process when participant s tell the interviewer what they think the interviewer wants to know, especially regarding questions related to race, gender, and ethnicity. Some of the participants shared positive stories about their schooling while audio taped yet negative ones dealing with issues of ethnicity and gender off tape. This led me to believe that they were concerned about faculty having access to published quotations from their transcripts and did not want to be offensive. It is possible that Latina doctoral students would fe el more comfortable discussing difficult issues related to their schooling experiences off campus and/or among other Latinas in a focus group. Conclusion s This study un covered numerous resiliency skills and elements that foster resiliency skills in Latina doctoral students. The resiliency skills exhibited by participants in this study are consistent with resiliency skills found among Latina undergraduate students as well as African American students including African American doctoral students however, so mewhat inconsistent with findings in the literature on Latina doctoral students. Findings provide additional insights as to the factors contributing to Latina doctoral students academic success as well as challenges faced by these women.
119 Moreover, this st udy found empirical skills. Through the sharing of their experiences, I found evidence indicating that each of that Lat inas may exhibit resiliency skills, such as problem solving in a different manner constructs may need to be redefined to include the different ways that minorities exhi bit resiliency skills, or revised taking a multicultural approach. This study further provided recommendation to educators, high schools, colleges, and universities in their continued efforts to advocate for this minority population.
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130 Appendice s
131 Appendix A Flyer to Solicit P articipants for S tudy Attention: Latina Doctoral Students We are conducting a research study and we need you! We are looking for Latina volunteers to be interviewed on their schooling experiences and factors contributing to their academic success throughout their doctoral education. Ple ase help. If you are not a Latina doctoral student, but know someone who is, please give this to your friend. All information will be confidential. You will be screened over the phone. Benefits of participation include furthering research in the area of La academic success in higher education. Note: This research is being conducted through the University of South Florida and has been approved through t he Institutional Review Board #106833 Contact Katherine Fuerth Researcher 813 484 6588
132 Appendix B Selection Criteria for S tudy 1. The participant must be a female doctoral student at a U.S. university who has completed at least 1 year of doctoral studies. 2. The participant must describe herself as Latina. 3. The participant must be willing to discuss her sch ooling experience and the elements that contributed to her academic success with a researcher while it is recorded and later transcribed. 4. The participant must be willing to be contacted at a later date for member checks.
133 Appendix C Phone Scre ening I nterview study. How did you learn about the study? Before we get started, I want to inform you of a few things. This is a study for my doctoral dissertation in Counselor Educatio n at the University of South Florida. I became interested in this type of research because I am a Latina doctoral student myself. I am also a counselor who has worked with the Latina population in the community and believe that there needs to be more resea rch and services for our population in the educational system. pseudonym to use for the study. Although I will need your signature for a consent form prior to the study, your real name will not b e used in the publication of this study. Tampa campus for this study. This is to ensure that the interview conditions for all participants will be consistent. I also want to inform you that it is possible that you may experience some discomfort during the study interview because we may be discussing challenges that you have faced throughout your schooling. I would like to ask you some basic questions about yourself if that is alright with you?
134 Appendix C (Continued) 1. Could you tell me your highest level of education completed? 2. How many years of doctoral studies have you completed? 3. What is your ethnicity? I have a few more questions. 1. Do you feel you would be able to discuss the effects of your schooling experiences on your current academic success as a doctoral student with me for research purposes? 2. Would you be willing to meet with me for about 1 2 hours to discuss the factors that contributed to your academic success as well as any challen ges you had during your schooling experiences and then be contacted at a later date to review a transcription of your interview to make sure it is accurate? 3. The interview session will be audio taped and transcribed for research purposes. Would it be acc eptable to you to have your transcripts read by others provided you remained anonymous? 4. What questions do you have about the study at this time? 5. Is there a phone number where I can reach you or a confidential e mail where I may contact you? 6. May I
135 Appendix D Letter to P articipants Dear Participant, The purpose of this research is to identify the personal schooling experiences that Latinas have during their doctoral education as well as influencing factors to their academic success. In identifying these factors, this researcher hopes to contribute to the literature by providing implications for policy change and implications for more effective university outreach programs for Latinas. Please note that all participants have th e right to decline participation in this study at any point during the investigation. There are no known risks or benefits to participants who choose to take part in this study. If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact Katherine Fuert h at (813)484 6588. Your participation in this project is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Katherine Fuerth, M.A
136 Appendix E Informed Consent F orm Informed Consent to Participate in Research Information to Consider Before Taking Part in this Re search Study Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) study many topics. To do this, we need the help of people who agree to take part in a research study. This form tells you about this research study. We are asking you to take part in a research study that is called: Resiliency in Academically Successful Latina Doctoral Students The person who is in charge of this research study is Katherine Fuerth, M.A. The research will be done at the University of South Florida in the United States Purpose of the study The purpose of this study is to identify the contributing factors to Latinas academic success and resiliency through higher education. Study Procedures If you take part in this study, you will be asked to provide contact information to the researchers and then you will be contacted by phone or e mail to schedule a 1 2 hour (maximum) face to face interview. The interview will be audio taped and transcribed. The researcher will contact you a second time via e mail to verify your interv iew responses. This will not take more than two hours. The total participation time that may be required of you will be 4 hours. Alternatives You have the alternative to choose not to participate in this research study. You also have the alternative of co mpleting the questionnaire, however, choosing not to participate in the interview. Benefits We do not know if you will get any benefits by taking part in this study.
137 Appendix E (Continued) Risks or Discomfort There are no known risks to those who take par t in this study. Compensation We will not pay you for the time you volunteer while being in this study. Confidentiality We must keep your study records confidential. To do this, the principal research investigator will maintain all data collected in a locked filing cabinet in her office for 3 years. Data collected for this research may be used in other research related to Latinas in higher education. Certain people may need to see your study records. By law, anyone who looks at your records must kee p them completely confidential. The only people who will be allowed to see these records are: The research team, including the Principal Investigator, study coordinator, and all other research staff. Certain government and university people who need to kn ow more about the study. For example, individuals who provide oversight on this study may need to look at your records. This is done to make sure that we are doing the study in the right way. They also need to make sure that we are protecting your rights and your safety.) These include: a. the University of South Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the staff that work for the IRB. Other individuals who work for USF that provide other kinds of oversight may also need to look at your records; b. Depa rtment of Health and Human Services We may publish what we learn from this study. If we do, we will not let anyone know your name. We will not publish anything else that would let people know who you are. Voluntary Participation / Withdrawal You should only take part in this study if you want to volunteer. You should not feel that there is any pressure to take part in the study, to please the study investigator or the research staff. You are free to participate in this research or withdraw at any time Questions, concerns, or complaints If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about this study, call Katherine Fuerth at (813)484 6588.If you have questions about your rights, general questions, complaints, or issues as a person taking part in t his study, call the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance of the University of South Florida at (813) 974 9343. If you experience an adverse event or unanticipated problem call Katherine Fuerth at (813) 484 6588.
138 Appendix E (Continued) Consent to Ta ke Part in this Research Study It is up to you to decide whether you want to take part in this study. If you want to take part, please sign the form, if the following statements are true. I freely give my consent to take part in this study. I understand that by signing this form I am agreeing to take part in research. I have received a copy of this form to take with me. Signature of Person Taking Part in Study Date Printed Name of Person Taking Part in Study Statement of Person O btaining Informed Consent I have carefully explained to the person taking part in the study what he or she can expect. I hereby certify that when this person signs this form, to the best of my knowledge, he or she understands: What the study is about. Wha t procedures/interventions/investigational drugs or devices will be used. What the potential benefits might be. What the known risks might be. I also certify that he or she does not have any problems that could make it hard to understand what it means to take part in this research. This person speaks the language that was used to explain this research. This person reads well enough to understand this form or, if not, this person is able to hear and understand when the form is read to him or her. This person does not have a medical/psychological problem that would compromise comprehension and therefore makes it hard to understand what is being explained and can, therefore, give informed consent. This person is not taking drugs that may cloud their j udgment or make it hard to understand what is being explained and can, therefore, give informed consent. Signature of Person Obtaining Informed Consent Date Printed Name of Person Obtaining Informed Consent
139 Appendix F Investig rotocol Project: Time of Interview: Date: Place: Interviewer: Interview Questions 1. What factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? 2. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? 3. Can you tell me what the doctoral education experience has been like for you? 4. through your doctoral education? 5. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? 6. If you could give other Latinas in high school or un dergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? 7. What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education? 8. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encour age Latinas to further their education?
140 Appendix F (Continued) 9. What else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral education? 10. What have I forgotten to ask that you feel is important? 11. How are you feeling right n ow? (Thank individual for participating in this interview. Assure him or her of confidentiality of responses and potential future interviews).
141 Appendix G Interview S cript I want to thank you for participating in this study. I will be reco rding this session and it will be transcribed afterwards. The final transcription will be read by my committee members and an outside auditor. Any quotes from this interview may be used in the dissertation publication, however, I want to remind you that yo ur true identity will always remain anonymous. I will respect and protect your confidentiality. If at anytime you feel too uncomfortable during the interview process, please stop and let me know. We can either take a break from the interview or terminate t he interview if necessary. I would like to give you a moment to read a consent form that you will need to sign in order for me to continue with the interview (I will hand them the consent form, verbally review it with them, and then have them sign it volun tarily). 1. Do you have any questions about the consent form? 2. Having read the consent form, do you still agree to be a part of the study? 3. I would now like to start tape recording, is that alright with you? I would like to start with some basic questions if yo u are ready to begin 4. What is your ethnic/cultural background? 5. What generation Latina are you? (a) 1 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. after the age of 16.
142 Appendix G (Continued) (b) 1.25 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. between the ages of 11 and 15. (c) 1.5 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. between the ages of 6 and 10. (d) 1.75 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. before the age of 5. (e) 2 generation: Born in the U.S. of Foreign born parents. (f) 3 generation: Born in the U.S. of U.S. born parents and foreign born grandparents (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001). 6. What is your major? 7. What factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? 8. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? 9. Can you tell me what the do ctoral education experience has been like for you? 10. your doctoral education? 11. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? 12. If you could give other Latinas in high school or undergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? 13. What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education? 14. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encourage Lat inas to further their education?
143 Appendix G (Continued) 15. What else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral education? 16. What have I forgotten to ask that you feel is important? 17. How are you feeling right now? Tho se are all of the questions I have for you at this time. Here is my email address, if within one week you decide that you would like to add anything to the interview, please do not hesitate to email me with additional information [Card with email address w ill be handed to the participant] What questions do you have for me? Where should I submit the transcripts to? Thank you again for participating in this research study. I really appreciate your time and contribution.
144 Appendix H Follow up Email to P articipants Thank you for participating in my research study. I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions and provide detailed information as to your resilience as it related to your academic success in doctoral stud ies. This is just a reminder that you may email me within one week if you feel you need to add anything to your interview. During the next stage of the study, your audio tape will be transcribed and I will review it. I will then email [or send it, or hand deliver it] to you as per our agreement so that you can review it for accuracy. This should be done within one month. Thank you again for your participation. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Katherine Fuert h
145 Appendix I Clarification of Researcher B ias 1. What biases do you think that you have going into this dissertation? 2. Do you think that you have any prejudices or assumptions regarding any of the parties involved in this research? 3. What is your e xperience with this population? 4. Why did you choose this dissertation topic?
146 Appendix J Demog raphic Q uestionnaire 1. What is your age? 2. What is your ethnic/cultural background? 3. Are you currently a doctoral student? If so, how far along are yo u in your doctoral studies? 4. What is your current major? 5. What is your GPA? 6. What was your GRE score? 7. What generation Latina are you? (a) 1 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. after the age of 16. (b) 1.25 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. betw een the ages of 11 and 15. (c) 1.5 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. between the ages of 6 and 10. (d) 1.75 generation: Foreign born, arrived in the U.S. before the age of 5. (e) 2 generation: Born in the U.S. of Foreign born parents. (f) 3 generation: Born in the U.S. of U.S. born parents and foreign born grandparents (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001). 8. What is the highest level of education that your mother completed? 9. What is the highest level of education that your father completed? 10. Do you have siblings? a. If so, what a re their ages?
147 Appendix J (Continued) b. Have any of them attended college? i. If so, what is the highest level of education they completed?
148 Appendix K Interview Field Notes Project: Molly Time of Interview: 12:00pm Date: 5/14/2008 Place: C onference Room Interviewer: Katherine Fuerth Interview Questions 1. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? a. Professors who were supportive/interested 2. What factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? a. Mother; b. Molly was first to go to c ollege 3. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? a. Felt like there was no other choice; b. Had hard time finding a job 4. Can you tell me what the doctoral education experience has been like for you? a. Lack of understanding of culture/lang uage; b. No formal English language or writing; c. Lonely process & age difference; d. Lacking time to socialize
149 Appendix K (Continued) 5. through your doctoral education? a. Finding committee; b. Findi ng people interested in you 6. If you could give other Latinas in high school or undergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? a. Taking challenging courses, not lower courses because of the language 7. What recommenda tions would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education? a. Set examples; b. Talk bout the future; c. Be role models 8. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encourage Latinas to further their education? a. Knowledge of additional degrees; b. Awareness of opportunities 9. What else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral education? a. Wants to keep making progress; b. Took qualifying exams; c. Concerned about employment;
150 Appendix K (Co ntinued) d. Upset to see others with less skills with higher opportunities 10. What have I forgotten to ask that you feel is important? a. b. Discrimination is subtle; c. Struggle with identity in n ew place. 11. How are you feeling right now? a. Happy; b. Waiting for exam results; c. Comfortable with co worker; d. Wants to feel at home
151 Appendix K (Continued) Project: Star Time of Interview: 9:30am Date: 5/15/2008 Place: Graduate student office Inter viewer: Katherine Fuerth Interview Questions 1. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? a. Perseverance; b. Love for education; c. Sense of wanting to be own person 2. What factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? a. Family had college education (Father was attorney, Uncle was a doctor; Uncle was a Council General) 3. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? a. Always a goal to get PhD; b. A Challenge 4. Can you tell me what the doctoral education experience has been like for you? a. First doctoral experience was not challenging, not good; Second doctoral experience was more challenging; b. Professors worked with me; c. Created my own interests
152 Appendix K (Continued) 5. throu gh your doctoral education? a. Private Practice; b. 9 year old daughter 6. If you could give other Latinas in high school or undergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? a. Need to find own dream; b. s; c. Discrimination regarding language 7. What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education? a. Be careful not to stereotype Latina females 8. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encourage Latin as to further their education? a. Mentoring needs to begin before high school, like elementary 9. What else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral education? a. Fight system; b. c. d. First non traditional only female and Latina in all jobs in the military;
153 Appendix K (Continued) e. Received B.A. in Psychology; B.A. in Industrial Psychology with minor in Language; M.A. Counselor Educa tion 10. What have I forgotten to ask that you feel is important? a. Schools need to have peer mentors 11. How are you feeling right now?
154 Appendix K (Continued) Project: Gypsy Time of Interview: 10:00am Date: 5/18/2008 Inte rviewer: Katherine Fuerth Interview Questions 1. What factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? a. Parental models with graduate educations 2. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? a. Wanted a graduate education; b. Fami ly guidance 3. Can you tell me what the doctoral education experience has been like for you? a. Unnecessary obstacles 4. through your doctoral education? a. Professor too busy to reach out; b. Assignment s were pointless 5. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? a. Support
155 Appendix K (Continued) 6. If you could give other Latinas in high school or undergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? a. Be prepared; b. Kno w career options 7. What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education? a. More support; b. Financial support; c. Mentorship 8. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encourage Latinas to further their education? a. Demonstrate that support will be there 9. What else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral education? a. Be prepared to separate from family; b. Set up for worst; c. Commitment 10. What have I forgotten to ask that you feel is important? a. Great learning opportunity; b. Challenging; c. Come with an open mind ;
156 Appendix K (Continued) 11. How are you feeling right now?
157 Appendix K (Continued) Project: Raquel Time of Interview: 10:00am Date: 5/20/2008 Pla ce: Graduate student office Interviewer: Katherine Fuerth Interview Questions 1. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? a. PSAT at John Hopkins; b. Aunt was teacher and good role model; Aunt was nurse; Professional se with a Masters; c. Funds; d. 2. What factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? a. Seeing how hard parents worked; b. More education more power; c. Enjoyed school 3. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? a. More knowledge is power to influence; b. Satisfying
158 Appendix K (Continued) 4. Can you tell me what the doctoral education experience has been like for you? a. Hard; b. abilities; Felt like an impos over her head; c. 5. through your doctoral education? a. Guilt; b. Balancing with daughter; c. Time has taken longer 6. If you could give othe r Latinas in high school or undergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? a. Opportunities; b. Government helps with funds; c. Education means a better life (life will be easier); d. College opens your mind; e. f. Family reason to continue to be a role model 7. What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education?
159 Appendix K (Continued) a. Flexibility; b. Recognize they my have imposter perspective, which may be cultural; c. Reinforce self confidence; d. Funding; e. Introduction to the system (knowledge); f. Mentorship (official, unofficial, and other Latinas) 8. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encourage Latinas to further their education? a. Start early since elementary; b. Be in honors classes; c. d. Get students more involved in education; e. Open houses with parents and child 9. What else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral educat ion? a. b. Feel lucky; c. Feel ready to give back; d. Has overcome stressors; e. More comfortable; f. Ready for dissertation; g.
160 Appendix K (Continued) 10. What have I forgotten to ask th at you feel is important? a. b. as a positive and be a role 11. How are you feeling right now? a. Good; b. Tired; c. Focused on finishing
161 Appendix K (Continu ed) Project: Carolina Time of Interview: 9:00pm Date: 5/20/2008 Place: Library Study Room Interviewer: Katherine Fuerth Interview Questions 1. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? a. Own desire to finish; b. Mom was supportive; c. Was a single mom with a th ree year old; d. e. Mentors at university 2. What factors influenced your decision to seek a college education? a. Bright child; b. Always wanted to go to college for journalism 3. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? a. b. Recently divorced with a baby; c. Not marketable degree; d. Academia; e. Applied program with mentor
162 Appendix K (Continued) 4. Can you tell me what the doctor al education experience has been like for you? a. b. Trying to make it (balance with kids and childcare); c. More work and seek funding; d. A lot of jobs (two to three assistantships) 5. Have you encountered any barriers o through your doctoral education? a. People supportive and sympathetic, but classes structured and rigid; b. Needed money; c. Helped with assistantships; d. Taken longer (twice as long) to finish; e. System set barriers due to late clas ses 6. If you could give other Latinas in high school or undergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? a. Know resources; b. Do research regarding college and process; c. Have a plan; d. Financial aid information; e. Keep g rades up; f. Counselor discouraged dual enrollment with college;
163 Appendix K (Continued) g. 7. What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education? a. Has worked as teacher; b. Talk to girls about importance of college and economy; c. Even if part time, this will help family; d. There are resources and people to help you; e. Requires leg work; f. Maintain grades and do work 8. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encourage Latinas to fu rther their education? a. Give more representation to professionals of various cultural backgrounds; b. Host programs; c. Facilitate partnerships; d. Have more enrichment programs (Variety widens exposure); e. Give all kids opportunity to be college bound; f. Support 9. W hat else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral education? a. Mentored students; b. Taught undergraduates;
164 Appendix K (Continued) c. were you come 10. What have I forgotten to ask that you feel is important? 11. How are you feeling right now? a. Good
165 Appendix K (Continued) Project: Genesis Time of Interview: 1:00pm Date: 5/21/2008 Interviewer: Katherine Fuerth Interview Questions 1. What factors helped you succeed/get this far? a. Support of family; b. Children; c. Husband; d. Advisor recruited her; e. Faculty mentors (understanding, realistic expectations; keeping me focused) 2. What factors influenced your decision to s eek a college education? a. Expected; b. Mother graduated when I was in sixth grade 3. What factors influenced your decision to seek a doctoral education? a. In undergraduate participated in McNair program 4. Can you tell me what the doctoral education experience has be en like for you? a. Challenging; b. Rewarding;
166 Appendix K (Continued) c. Enjoy thinking critically; d. Received financial support; e. Balance (had home, car, family, and full time job); f. Hard to find quiet time to think 5. Have you encountered any barriers or struggles through your doctoral education? a. b. No graduate assistantships or teaching assistantships; c. Non traditional 6. If you could give other Latinas in high school or undergrad any advice as to what may help them succeed in college, what would that advice be? a. Important to seek out mentor who has gone through the same and can advise you; b. Resource person 7. What recommendations would you give to educators to help Latina students further their education? a. Cultural e xpectations different for women and important to consider these factors since needs are different; b. Demand from family may vary; c. May be living at home
167 Appendix K (Continued) 8. What could high schools, colleges, and/or universities do to encourage Latinas t o further their education? a. Important to encourage; b. Teach women opportunities that exist with a college education (financially) 9. What else would you like to tell me about your experience as a Latina who has pursued a doctoral education? a. Important to have ot her minority student who can relate; b. To not be in a program where I am only one; c. Peers important (understanding) 10. What have I forgotten to ask that you feel is important? 11. How are you feeling right now? Fine
About the Author Katherine M. Fue University of South Flo rida in 2002 and a Master s Degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling also from the University of South F lorida in 2005. She worked in outpatient mental health cente r s counseling children and adolescents affected by abuse and neglect as well as adult rape and domestic violence survivors In addition she has worked in inpatient treatment centers Office providing vic tim advocacy for trauma survivors. While in the Ph.D. program at the Univers ity of South Florida, Ms. Fuerth was an active graduate student, working a s a teaching assistant in the Department of Psychological and Social Foundations as well as a graduate ass istant and research assistant in the College Student Affairs program. Ms. Fuerth has presented at international and local conventions and workshops on issues related to minorities in higher education as well as issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse, an d counseling.