Garcia, Cristela (2018-05). Former Students of Hispanic Descent First in the Family to Graduate High School: What Did It Take to Achieve a High School Diploma and Have They Transitioned to College?. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This Record of Study was conducted in an effort to explore the academic experiences of Hispanic students first-in-the-family to graduate high school. The goal was to identify who these students were and analyze student performance through the lens of academic achievements such as diploma plans, state assessment performance, and advanced course participation. Student data were collected from existing academic records and interview responses from select participants during the study. Data analyses presented both expected and unexpected outcomes. Graduates who earned Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP) diplomas and those who participated in advanced course studies, overall, performed better on state assessment exams than students who earned a minimum graduation plan diploma. Results from analysis of participant interviews expanded the picture of the first-in-the-family to graduate student experience outside of the extant student achievement data, with one unexpected discovery: Regardless of state test performance or advanced course participation, graduates felt significantly unprepared for the expectations they experienced in higher education.

publication date

  • May 2018