First Advisor

Alex Stepick

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology






First-generation college students -- Social conditions, Social capital (Sociology), Hispanic Americans -- Education -- Case studies, Hispanic American college students -- United States -- Attitudes, College administrators -- United States -- Attitudes



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 172 pages)


When compared to Blacks, Asians, and Whites, Latinxs have lower rates of educational attainment at every level from secondary education to advanced postsecondary degrees (Ryan and Bauman 2016). This study focuses on Latinx first generation college students and uses Yosso's Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) theory to illuminate the ways this population navigates college through employing the strengths from their home community. The Latinx population is the largest ethnic or racial minority group in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau 2017. By 2060, they are expected to account for nearly 29% of the US population (U.S. Census Bureau 2017). While the enrollment of Latinx students in institutions of higher education has experienced a significant increase (Salinas 2017), Latinx students continue to experience challenges obtaining four-year degrees. Additionally, majority of the literature on Latinx FGCS focuses on a deficit perspective, asserting that their lack of educational progress is due to their social and cultural capital. Yet, increasingly Latinx FGCS students are entering and successfully completing college. Little research addresses the factors that positively contribute to the success of these Latinx FGCS. Using a case study approach, interviews were conducted to examine the perspectives of 7 current students and 9 alumni from a mid-size public university in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, I interviewed 7 program administrators from three mid-size public universities in the Pacific Northwest. Findings revealed three main themes and motivated the creation of the Power of Collective Community model for supporting Latinx FGCS.


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