Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Rodney Goodyear, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Christopher H. Hunt, Ed.D.

Alayne Sullivan, Ph.D.


education; social sciences; college attendance; educational aspirations; Hispanic student-perceived barriers; Hispanic students; Hispanics attending college; self-efficacy


African American Studies | Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology


Hispanic students are proportionally less represented in college than are of students from most other racial and ethnic groups. This study focused on possible reasons for this discrepancy. The first of its two prongs was to identify barriers students themselves perceived as influencing college attendance, whereas the second prong focused on students' level of self-efficacy as a predictor of educational aspiration and achievement. In each case, the comparison groups were African American and White non-Hispanic high school seniors. Participants were 180 (104 females; 76 males) seniors in a San Bernardino County, California high school. The majority (126; 70%) was Hispanic, with the remainder being White non-Hispanic (30; 16.7%) and African American (24; 13.3%). To identify perceived barriers, participants were asked to describe a friend who is a high school senior and whom they perceive as capable of doing well in college, but who will not be attending. They then were asked to describe reasons this person would not attend. Data were used only for students who identified a friend of the same race or ethnicity. Across all students, barriers related to finances were the most prominent reasons for not attending college. But compared to the other two groups, Hispanic students were more likely to list issues related to making alternative choices (e.g., getting a job, joining the military) than students in either of the other two groups. Across all three groups, self-efficacy proved a robust predictor of levels of academic aspiration. Interestingly, African American students scored significantly higher on a measure of self-efficacy than Hispanic students (whose scores did not differ from those of White non-Hispanic students).


© 2011 Jason Jimenez

All Righgts Reserved

ISBN: 9781124831923