Family Programs and
Latino/a Student Retention
NASPA Western Regional 2010 Portland, OR
Amber Garrison Duncan amberg@uoregon.edu
Interim Director, Assessment and Research
Director of Family Programs & Commencem...
  Professional Competency
Pluralism and Inclusion: Participants will gain an understanding of the
positive effects famili...
  Tinto (1975, 1987, 1993)
  Three stages a student experiences
  Separation- leaving past associations, community and ...
  Focus on Separation
  Separation was defined as leaving past associations with family and
community and cultural tradi...
  Expectations of today’s parents as a result of K-12 expectations of
involvement
  Shift in higher education from “in l...
  An embedded, exploratory case study about the experiences of Latina
college students in negotiating family, peer and in...
  Parental Influences
  Behaviors (sexual behaviors, academic expectations)
  Self Confidence (role modeling)
  Motiva...
  Behavior
“I just want to echo the don’t get pregnant was like the first and
foremost thing I received from home as I wa...
  Motivation/Encouragement
“…You go to school and you get it done and you do what you want to when
you’re done, but until...
  Psychological
Isabel’s comment was an example of a desperate need to connect with parents.
“And so for me it’s just a c...
  Understanding College Student Experience by Parents
Mercedes described a mixed emotional experience when parents learne...
Latino families influenced Latina student behaviors
and motivations that allowed for them to persist. But
the lack of conn...
  As a result of this case study, the following is being implemented:
  Latin@ Family Advisory Group
  Spanish Language...
  How can you assess the needs of diverse student and family
populations on your campus?
  What ideas do you have for pr...
  Professional Competency
Pluralism and Inclusion: Participants will gain an understanding of the
positive effects famili...
Amber Garrison Duncan amberg@uoregon.edu
Interim Director, Assessment and Research
Director of Family Programs & Commencem...
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Family programs naspawr10

  1. 1. Family Programs and Latino/a Student Retention NASPA Western Regional 2010 Portland, OR
  2. 2. Amber Garrison Duncan amberg@uoregon.edu Interim Director, Assessment and Research Director of Family Programs & Commencement University of Oregon Pamela Hernandez Coordinator for Latina/o Student Involvement & Advocacy University of Maryland, College Park
  3. 3.   Professional Competency Pluralism and Inclusion: Participants will gain an understanding of the positive effects familial cultural expectations and influences have on the retention of Latina students. Knowledge gained regarding family and parent relationships among college students will enable proactive incorporation of parents and increased retention.   Critical Issue: Strategic Partnerships: Creating meaningful partnerships with family members can lead to an innovative model towards student success. The retention of students increases the financial stability of the institution. In addition, a life long relationship may be formed resulting in fundraising opportunities and further referral of prospective students to the institution. 
  4. 4.   Tinto (1975, 1987, 1993)   Three stages a student experiences   Separation- leaving past associations, community and family behind   Transition- moving into the institution   Incorporation- acculturation into the institution This theory has received considerable criticism for its assimilation/ acculturation framework. The academic and social integration that is critical to prevent student departure may not be possible in a setting that is not validating to underrepresented groups of students. Especially when strong cultural value is placed on the family and community.
  5. 5.   Focus on Separation   Separation was defined as leaving past associations with family and community and cultural traditions behind in order to become integrated into the institution (Guiffrida, 2006; Sy & Brittian, 2008). A student must “break away,” or separate from past cultures and traditions in order to transition and become integrated into the fabric of the university (Gruiffrida, 2006).   Practices include: orientation, residential living, FERPA, limited University communication with parents and family members   Guiffrida (2006) proposed altering the terms of separation and integration into “connection.” The term would better recognize student’s abilities to create a sense of relatedness without implying the need to break away or integrate into a culture that is not their own.   Practices include: cultural student groups, peer mentoring   This “connection” respects the relationship between family and student, as well as family and institution. Which brings us to the proposed purpose of the development of family programs.
  6. 6.   Expectations of today’s parents as a result of K-12 expectations of involvement   Shift in higher education from “in loco parentis” to independent to interdependent relationship with family members.   Relatively new functional area in Student Affairs   Intended to bridge the connect between families, students and institution to result in increased student retention, family and student satisfaction and student learning/development   What is the impact on underrepresented students? In particular, for students where family and community is a strong value. When a “connection” between the student’s family and community and the institution can be established, can this lead to student retention?
  7. 7.   An embedded, exploratory case study about the experiences of Latina college students in negotiating family, peer and institutional expectations   Data collected using a survey, individual interviews and focus groups   Target Sample = 83 Latina college students   17 Completed Survey   6 Individual Interviews; 8 Focus Group Participants   14 Completed both Survey and Interview   Constant Comparative Data Analysis
  8. 8.   Parental Influences   Behaviors (sexual behaviors, academic expectations)   Self Confidence (role modeling)   Motivation & Encouragement to Complete & Graduate College   Provide perspective of the student’s privilege to be in college   Parental Involvement   Directly attended events they were invited to by student.   Family/Parents Lacked Connection to Student   Psychological/Mental Effects   Communication   Home v. School Identity   Understanding College Student Experience
  9. 9.   Behavior “I just want to echo the don’t get pregnant was like the first and foremost thing I received from home as I was leaving my home and live moving to pursue my education…So I think there’s definitely this trust issue and code of like what’s going to be acceptable and what isn’t” (Personal Communication, Rosario, February 23, 2008)   Self Confidence Rosario similarly stated, “It [coming to college] just made me want to kinda of uhm like I don’t know like boost my family’s pride by like ‘you know what, my grand daughter went to college and like I never would have guessed that was possible for us’” (Personal Communication, February 23, 2008)
  10. 10.   Motivation/Encouragement “…You go to school and you get it done and you do what you want to when you’re done, but until then this is the rule, so. That’s been a major expectation I think.” Isabel mentioned. (Personal Communication, February 23, 2008) “I think my parents keep things light-hearted, and I think that’s a good thing. My parents are really like, ‘it’s not that bad. You know it could be worst you could be working in the orchards.’ They keep me abreast of the situation, and how privileged I am” Mercedes said. (Personal Communication, February 25, 2008)
  11. 11.   Psychological Isabel’s comment was an example of a desperate need to connect with parents. “And so for me it’s just a constant thought of what they’re thinking and doing. And if I don’t keep in touch like why are they not calling me and why can’t I call them… And I don’t know if it’s much like anger or being sad or anything but it’s this weird combination of this constant anxiety until we manage to connect again. (Personal Communication, February 23, 2008) Mercedes described the following: “But yeah it’s definitely that struggle between being the know it all and being this American model. And what [it] means when you go back to your family. I think that’s one of the biggest struggles I’ve had, especially identity wise” (Personal Communication, February 25, 2008).
  12. 12.   Understanding College Student Experience by Parents Mercedes described a mixed emotional experience when parents learned about college life: “[e]xplaining what they [parents] don’t know, but not giving them too much when they think you know it all. It’s this balancing act. But it can be exhausting, but when they finally understand and they get it a little bit then they’re really proud, I think” (Personal Communication, February 25, 2008).   Conclusions Latino families influenced Latina student behaviors and motivations that allowed for them to persist. But the lack of connection of the family to the institution creates psychological conflicts for students. There is a great potential for mutual growth and development of both the parents and students if there were institutional support.
  13. 13. Latino families influenced Latina student behaviors and motivations that allowed for them to persist. But the lack of connection of the family to the institution creates psychological conflicts for students. There is a great potential for mutual growth and development of both the parents and students if there were institutional support.
  14. 14.   As a result of this case study, the following is being implemented:   Latin@ Family Advisory Group   Spanish Language Website   Participation in Outreach to Latino Families in partnership with Admissions   Culturally Relevant Programming at Family Weekends   Spanish Language Newsletter   Latino Family Network within Family Association   Other Campus Efforts   Bilingual Community & College Fair (Estudios Universitarios)   Spanish Tour Guides   UC-San Diego’s “Take Your Parent to College Day”
  15. 15.   How can you assess the needs of diverse student and family populations on your campus?   What ideas do you have for programming and services?   How can you assess the impact on student retention?
  16. 16.   Professional Competency Pluralism and Inclusion: Participants will gain an understanding of the positive effects familial cultural expectations and influences have on the retention of Latina students. Knowledge gained regarding family and parent relationships among college students will enable proactive incorporation of parents and increased retention.   Critical Issue: Strategic Partnerships: Creating meaningful partnerships with family members can lead to an innovative model towards student success. The retention of students increases the financial stability of the institution. In addition, a life long relationship may be formed resulting in fundraising opportunities and further referral of prospective students to the institution. 
  17. 17. Amber Garrison Duncan amberg@uoregon.edu Interim Director, Assessment and Research Director of Family Programs & Commencement University of Oregon

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