Date of Graduation
The purpose of this study was to learn what might have contributed to the academic success of Puerto Rican undergraduates. The investigation centered around the perceptions of the participants about the role and significance of socio-economic status, compatibility of the home and school environments, bilingualism, encouragement, and motivation. A qualitative design was used. Ten participants of Puerto Rican origin, undergraduate students at a major university in the northeast were interviewed at their university. The data was recorded on audio cassette tapes. The answers to the questionnaire suggested that the participants had families who valued education regardless of their socio-economic status. Also, nine out of ten had the Puerto Rican culture present at home but English environment at school during their childhood. One grew up on the island of Puerto Rico. All participants were able to move from Puerto Rican culture to Anglo culture and vice versa, and were able to function in both. They didn't think that their English was perfect but they didn't consider that necessary. Their sources of encouragement were mainly from the family and teachers. Their sources of motivation varied from wanting to do better than or at least as good as their parents, to the need to do well inspired by their own young child or brother. Other themes that aroused during the interviews were: discrimination, cultural fluidity, and the presence of gangs, as well as group differences within Puerto Ricans. The importance of special programs for Hispanics to help them attend college was mentioned repeatedly. Throughout the narratives the participants talked about their struggle for success and showed great determination, persistence, strength. There was a change of meanings, a growth of the human spirit as the participants become more mature.
Baxter, Maria Teresa, "Perceptions of Puerto Rican undergraduates of reasons for their academic success." (1998). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8455.