Factors that affect first-generation latino students' upward transfer intent and choices
Keen, Maritza Soto
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Georgia, oftentimes referred to as an “emerging Latino state” has an unprecedented and growing share of the nation’s Latino population. The state’s Latino high school graduation rate mirrors national data at nearly 58%, while the public postsecondary enrollment share is approximately seven percent. Over one-third of the state’s Latino college students are enrolled in one of the sixteen, public two-year degree granting institutions. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the factors that affect first-generation Latino students’ upward transfer intent and choices. The study site was a public, two-year degree granting institution in an urban county of Georgia. An analysis of data from in-depth student interviews, field notes, and document review revealed how family and cultural values, immigration status, and financial constraints interconnect to influence college and transfer decisions. Additionally, the roles of the state and of the postsecondary institution were examined as influencers. Findings identified similarities and differences between the college choice processes of first-generation Latino students and the college choice processes as they are conceptualized in the influential theories of Hossler & Gallagher (1987) and Tinto (1993).