Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

First Advisor

Bailey W. Jackson III

Second Advisor

Laura Valdiviezo

Third Advisor

Mari Castañeda

Subject Categories



The construction of parental involvement as it was introduced into American schools over 90 years ago marginalizes Latina/o students and families. While research exists on the positive impact of Latina/o parental involvement as well as cultural parenting practices unique to Latina/o culture that foster academic success, much remains to be learned. What teachers and administrators in K-12 and higher education settings have not yet widely considered are how Latina/o students bring with them six forms of cultural capital transmitted to them via their parents to persist in hostile environments such as predominantly White institutions (PWIs). This qualitative study addresses what can be done to accommodate and support a growing Latina/o population by amplifying student narratives on how, and under what circumstances they employ each of the six forms of capital. The findings reflect my research with 37 Latina/o college students at different types of higher education institutions (a selective all-women’s college, a large co-educational University, and a community college) to examine how students: describe and interpret parental involvement, employ cultural messages regarding education, and how they utilize cultural capital to persist at these PWIs. This study has implications for policy and practice for teachers and administrators in K-12 and higher education settings. It challenges these institutions to adopt asset-based approaches that propose to work with whole Latina/o families to support the whole Latina/o student. Findings from this study also provide recommendations for how Latina/o students can take active roles in advocating for themselves in higher education.


Included in

Education Commons