Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Carol L. Colbeck
Liliana Mina, Simone C. Conceicao, Barbara L. Bales
College, Culture, Students, Success, Transition, Working-class
Working-class students’ success in higher education is a growing concern for policymakers and administrators. Previous research has shown that working-class students experience less success in college than students who are of higher social classes (Lauff & Ingels, 2015; Walpole, 2007). This qualitative case study explored how the university environment and students’ cultural wealth influenced success of Latina, Black, and White female working-class students during their transitions to college. Specifically, this study followed 12 students at a large urban public four-year university. Participants engaged in semi-structured interviews three times before and during their first semester of college. The study is framed with a critical realist perspective using Schlossberg’s transition model (Goodman, Schlossberg, & Anderson, 2006) and Yosso’s (2005) model of community cultural wealth. Analysis explored differences among participants’ achievement of self-defined outcomes. Findings suggest that Latina, Black, and White working-class female students have working-class cultural wealth that drives their success. Participants were more successful in nurturing campus environments. Findings offer recommendations for practitioners to improve outcomes for working-class students and recommendations for future research that addresses working-class students’ success.
Freer, Rebecca Marie, "From High School to a Four-year Urban University: Understanding the Transition Experiences of Latina, Black, and White Female Working-Class Students" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 1471.