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BEYOND GETTING IN AND GETTING THROUGH: USING PLÁTICAS TO SUPPORT LATINA FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS’ BECOMING

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posted on 2024-05-15, 23:10 authored by Bélgica Marisol Cucalón

Along the P-16 continuum, intersecting systems of oppression work to invisiblize, dismiss, and disparage Latina first-generation students’ existing sources of knowledge, identity, and culture, resulting in long-term visible and invisible harm to their growth and well-being. Despite significant gains in higher education enrollment in the last two decades, Latina educational attainment remains behind that of the overall U.S. population. In higher education, white-centric, linear, transactional, and deficit-based transition services fail to both acknowledge the lived realities of Latina first-generation students in transition and to provide support in ways that affirm, sustain, and leverage their ways of being, knowing, and doing. These processes and practices impact their persistence as well as their identity, relationships, and well-being within and beyond the institution. This dissertation of practice explores the higher education experiences of seven Latina first-generation students to understand how their intersectional identities impact their transition. Guided by the conceptualization of transition as a process of becoming, and viewed through the lens of Chicana/Latina feminist theories (CLFT) and Yosso’s community cultural wealth framework, I used pláticas to center the lives of these students and learn how spaces for community-building, identity-processing, and shared sense-making might cultivate their conocimiento, critical consciousness development. Analysis of this study found that these students experience hypervisibility, invisibility, and stereotype threat in their interactions with services. Additionally, that mother-daughter relationships, as well as sibling roles and responsibilities were a significant source of stress and strength in their day-to-day lives as they navigated the higher education transition. Among several findings, this study indicates that intersectional-centered, culturally relevant practices in higher education transition services can improve the growth and well-being of Latina first-generation students. Additionally, that the family's significant role in these students' lives necessitates more intentional efforts to affirm and sustain these relationships throughout the higher education transition. This study recommends further research into using pláticas in higher education student services.

History

Publisher

ProQuest

Language

English

Committee chair

Samantha Cohen

Committee member(s)

Érica Fernández; Heather Hairston

Degree discipline

Education Policy and Leadership

Degree grantor

American University. School of Education

Degree level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

Ed.D. in Education Policy and Leadership, American University, May 2024

Local identifier

CucalxF3n_american_0008E_12228.pdf

Media type

application/pdf

Pagination

154 pages

Submission ID

12228

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