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Title:Engaging Latino parents in supporting college pathways: Lessons from a college access program
Author:Auerbach, S.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 3(2)

pp. 125-145
Education Level:High
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This article examines the effects of Futures & Family (F&F)-a bilingual outreach program-on the support of Latino parents in their children's college planning. F&F was the parent component of a college access program known as the Futures Project. The F&F program aims to provide Latino families and students with access to esoteric information concerning college. Findings indicated that F&F educated parents about the steps their children should take along the pathway to college, the need for parents to be involved in the process, and the practicality of a 4-year college for their children. In addition, parents became better able to offer informed support to their children as they gained confidence in their advocacy and leadership roles. The data analyzed in this qualitative case study were drawn from 3 years of participant observation collected at a large high school in Los Angeles during an ongoing school partnership with University of California, Los Angeles. The high school was diverse socioeconomically and racially. This study indicates that bilingual outreach programs may enable Latino parents to become knowledgeable allies in their children's path towards higher education. Suggestions for engaging Latino parents include beginning early, keeping program meetings small and personal, and acknowledging the barriers that exist between Latinos and a college education. Future research, including randomized controlled trials, might focus on determining the effectiveness of each strategy on specific student achievement outcomes.

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