OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

A Critical Race Analysis of Latinx Students’ College Choices and Pathways


Despite experiencing inequitable access to educational resources (Rogers, Fanelli, Freelon, Medina, Bertrand, & Del Razo, 2010), Latinx students maintain high educational aspirations, with 95% of female students and 84% of male students aspiring to earn a college degree (Taylor, Kochhar, Livingston, Lopez, & Morin, 2009). There is a gap between Latinx students and their peers who: enroll in a four-year college (Lopez & Fry, 2013), persist in the second-year of college (ACT, 2010), and graduate (NCES, 2015; Perez Huber, et al., 2015); resulting in an urgency to increase the transition experiences for Latinx students (Lee, et al., 2011). Recent research documents that students who graduate from policed under-resourced high schools believe that college preparation in high school will hinder college transition (Blinded for Review, Year). This qualitative study aims to connect the preparation and socialization that Students of Color experience in high school with their transition and persistence at four-year colleges. This SRP project examined the college choices and transitions of Latinx students. Using quantitative IPEDS data, we used statistics to examine the college choices of Latinx students nationwide. The study addressed implications of attending high schools that juxtaposed limited college preparation alongside criminalizing practices for Latinx students as they transitioned into four-year colleges. The qualitative component of the study was guided by critical race theory and sense of belonging to examine how Latinx students, who graduated from a high school-prison nexus, experienced transitions to and persistence in four-year colleges. Qualitative data consisted of photovoice interviews with Latinx students.

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