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A phenomenological study of Hispanic adult learners at a rural community college
Garcia, Martha O.
Harris, Frank, IIIJeffcoat, KendraGould, Ed
xvi, 218 p.
This is a study of 12 Hispanic adult learners enrolled at Rural Community College of the West (RCCW). This study provides awareness of the challenges this population faces, while trying to achieve their educational goals. In addition, the study provides insight into the factors that impact their success. Phenomenology was the qualitative approach utilized during this study. The participants in this study included 12 Hispanic adult learners. Data were collected by way of individual interviews and a focus group. The theoretical framework I used in this study was Validation Theory by Laura Rendón. Five thematic categories illustrate the experiences of the 12 Hispanic adult learners enrolled at a rural community college: (a) El Deseo de Tener Èxito en la Vida -- The Desire to Succeed in Life; (b) Factores que Facilitan el Èxito de Estudiantes -- Factors That Facilitate Student Success; (c) La Educación no es Fácil—Education Is Not Easy; (d) Tener Apollo Te Da Valor -- Having Support Gives You Courage; and (e) Soy un Estudiante Adulto y mis Experiencias son Ûnicas—I am an Older Student and my Experiences are Unique. The data revealed that adult learners are motivated to succeed and achieve their educational goals regardless of the barriers they experience. Family and institutional support are vital and contribute to success for this population. In addition, it was evident that validating agents, such as Hispanic instructors, play a significant role for Hispanic adult learners and provide the affirmation they needed to persevere. The findings of this study can inform educators and administrators who desire to support the success of Hispanic adult learners in community colleges, specifically in rural community colleges. Recommendations for implementation and future research are presented.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 185-207).
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) San Diego State University, 2012
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