Hispanic males and the factors contributing to their decisions to pursue and complete a college education



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences and perceptions of Hispanic male students who have made plans to pursue and complete a college education. This study used two theoretical frameworks to enhance the understanding of the events that might lead Hispanic males to pursue a college education. The theoretical frameworks guiding this study are Bandura’s (1977) social-cognitive theory and Vygotsky’s (1978) socio-cultural constructivism theory. The research questions that guided the study were, a) What is the perceived importance of a college education to undergraduate, traditional and nontraditional-aged, Hispanic males enrolled in higher education? b) What perceptions do Hispanic males have about the impact of their lived experiences both within and external to the academic environment on their pursuit of a college education? and c) What perceptions do university staff have about Hispanic males seeking a higher education, and what they must do in order to achieve a university degree? A purposeful sample of the groups of participants, Hispanic male students and university staff were interviewed, and field notes were collected in order to provide a more in-depth understanding of the specific factors that affect the academic success of Hispanic males and their decisions to pursue and complete a college education. A constant comparative method was utilized to analyze the data. Conceptual categories emerged from the data analysis and these categories were then sorted into four emergent themes. The four emergent themes were a) support systems for Hispanic male students; b) unspoken cultural expectations; c) the feeling of “belonging” and d) perseverance, hope, and grit. The findings indicated that there were similarities among the participants in regard to the four emergent themes. The findings also showed a dissonance between what the Hispanic male participants experienced and what the university staff believed was going on in the university life of the Hispanic male students.



Hispanic, males, higher education