Factors that contribute to the academic success of immigrant and first-generation UCLA students of Mexican heritage
The increasing numbers of Mexican heritage individuals residing in the U.S. combined with the educational attainment disparity between Mexican heritage and White individuals illustrate a need for research on factors associated with the high educational attainment of some immigrant and first-generation students of Mexican descent. Using one hundred and fifteen (115) autobiographical term papers written by Mexican heritage students enrolled at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), thirty-three (33) Student interviews, and eight (8) family interviews as data sources, there were seven themes that emerged from this qualitative study. These include evidence of (1) Assimilation; (2) Acculturation; (3) Social capital; (4) Resilience; (5) Exposure to majority White schools/communities; (6) Exposure to minority schools/communities; and (7) A willingness to honor parental struggle and sacrifice with academic achievement---Ganas. The implications of these findings and recommendations for further research are discussed.