Hispanic students’ perceptions of factors that enabled high school completion and college performance at a selective Predominately White Institution in the Southeastern United States


  • Eldemira Isabel Segovia University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Michele A. Parker University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Victoria Bennett


achievement, higher education, Latino(a), Hispanic Students, resilience, Predominately White Institution


The purpose ofthe study was to determine the demographic characteristics of Hispanic studentsat a PWI, and to identify factors that influenced students’ high schoolcompletion and college matriculation. In the fall of 2011, an electronic surveywas administered to 409 sophmores, juniors, and seniors who identified asHispanic in institutional records. Respondents (n=145) were mostly female, first-generation-Americansof Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban heritage. Additional information isdetailed including demographic variables such as age and marital status alongwith parental education, employment status, and residential and migrantfarm-labor information. Personal motivation and parental influence werepredominate factors in high school graduation as well as college matriculationand performance. Of the 14 variables used in the multiple regression analysisonly Career Interest and having an Associate’s degree were statisticallysignificant predictors of student’s grade point average. Implications for parents,K-12 educators, and institutions of higher education are discussed.

Author Biographies

Eldemira Isabel Segovia, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Interim AssociateProvost; Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

Michele A. Parker, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership






Research Articles