A Photo-Testimonio: Educational Expectations for Resiliencies of First-Generation Latina STEM College Students

Publication Title

Whiteucation: Privilege, Power, and Prejudice in School and Society

Document Type

Book Chapter

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Hispanic Americans -- Education, Discrimination in education -- United States, Education -- Social aspects -- United States, Whites -- Race identity -- United States, African Americans -- Race identity, Race awareness, Educational equalization -- United States, Chicanos, Hispanos


This chapter is to inform university administrators and student affairs professionals on the existing images and practices of Latina undergraduate college students’ expectations for academic resiliencies towards college attainment in white-serving institutions. Historically classified as “at risk,” the enrollment of Latinas in predominantly white-serving institutions often perpetuates generalizations, stereotypes, and statements about their missing characteristics and dispositions to be academically successful. In science, technology, engineering, and math education (STEM) the enrollment and post-secondary completion of Latinas in these academic disciplines is largely disproportionate when compared to other groups at the intersections of race and gender. In fact, Latinas are less likely to get a degree in one of the STEM areas than other women. Arguably, students’ institutional experiences are nuanced and contextualized. The failure to fully understand the perceptions and experiences of first generation Latinas is problematic, given their emergence in US population and the dire need for them to contribute to the STEM fields.

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