Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Jeffery Wilson

Committee Member

Donna Menke

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

Lamont Simmons


Latino college students face factors in their lives on a daily basis that affect their persistence in college. While the nation is seeing an increase in Latino enrollment in higher education institutions, the persistence rates of Latino students are not higher than other students, regardless of ethnicity. Several theorists such as Astin, Tinto, Pascarella, and Terenzini have studied specific variables affecting Latino college student persistence; however, Terenzini and Reason (2005) developed a model that combined the multiple forces affecting Latino college student persistence. This qualitative case study was guided by two questions that intended to explore the phenomenon of college student persistence factors: (1) How do college experiences affect Latino persistence to graduation? and (2) How do cultural factors promote or hinder Latino college persistence? Findings produced six key themes: (1) Campus Influences, (2) Out of Class Experiences, (3) Curricular Experiences, (4) Teachers' Influences, (5) Influential People, and (6) Pre-college Preparation. The themes identify key components of student experiences before they begin college and while they are attending. These components work together as a force developing each student with skills that promote persistence in college such as student engagement, admission's criteria, cultural capital, and family support.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.