Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Manuel Gonzalez Canche


Despite representing the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, Latinx

scholars remain underrepresented in the professoriate. Although Latinx students are

increasingly attending college, fewer graduate and even less continue on to pursue

graduate school. Prior research has explained the challenges that first-generation college

students encounter in post-secondary contexts, however this discourse is overwhelmingly

focused on failure, and the research around first-generation students particularly is

confusing given the various ways researchers have defined the population. Given that

Latinx college students are likely to be first-generation, and Hispanic Serving Institutions

(HSIs) educate 65% of all Latinx students in the nation, understanding the experiences of

first-generation Latinx undergraduate students at HSIs who aspire to be professors and

are applying to graduate school can help illuminate what factors help support this

underrepresented group in pursuing a career in the academy. Using qualitative

approaches, this study describes the experiences of first-generation undergraduate Latinx

students in a grant funded academic program that provides them with a plethora of

resources to help prepare them for graduate school.


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