Scholar: Kety Luna
Major: Secondary Education / Spanish
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Patricia Miltenberger
Research Topic: Exploration of the Experiences of Latina/o Students as They Transfer from a Community College to a University
Abstract: Education is the key to success for a society to be globally competitive. An educated population contributes to the growth of the economy, helps eliminate poverty, and creates a better society. The Latino population in the United States has increased significantly during the last two decades. Many Latino students have not pursued higher education because of factors including lack of clear educational goals, family interdependency, socioeconomic status, part-time enrollment, geographic proximity, and institutional outreach commitment. More than half of Latino students start their education in a community college; yet (less than a quarter) end up completing their major or transferring to the university Suarez (2003).
The purpose of this study is to learn about the college experiences of Latino students and to explore potential barriers students face in transferring from a community college to a university. This study will utilize a qualitative research method. Qualitative research attempts to delve into the "whys" of the participants rather than just the numbers. "One of the chief reasons for conducting a qualitative study is that the study is exploratory; not much has been written about the topic or population being studied, and the researcher seeks to listen to informants and to build a picture based on their ideas" Creswell (1994). Thus, an in-depth retrospective interview of 10-15 Latino transfer students at the University of Nevada, Reno will be utilized to gather insight. The interviews will be analyzed for patterns that emerge regarding students' educational goals and experiences while transferring to the university. Latino parents and students will be able to learn from students who have been successful. This information will also assist community college and university personnel understand Latino students' experiences.
Earned Baccalaureate Degree: spring 2012
Earned Master's Degree: fall 2015, Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Reno