Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Josephine Moffett, EdD

Second Supervisor

Stephen Draper, EdD


There is limited research on why Latina students stay and successfully graduate from high school and continue to pursue higher education. This phenomenological study examined the perceived factors contributing to 12 Latina graduates’ academic success during high school, preparing them to pursue higher education and graduate from a college-level program, and understanding the perceived influences of relationships that shaped their behaviors in high school. The researcher conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews to identify pertinent factors associated with academic attainment, noting their lived experiences, behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes when reflecting on their high school years, resulting in graduation. A social constructivist worldview framework was utilized to discuss Bandura’s social cognitive theory and Tinto’s college retention and integration model to understand, examine, and discuss the commonality of factors that influenced and contributed to the Latina graduates’ success. The participants reflected on their educational journeys, noting how social and academic engagement in high school influenced their behaviors, self-efficacy, and decision to persist. Recommendations for K–12 organizations to support Latina youth and build a pipeline from high school graduation to college enrollment and completion are discussed, including incorporating culturally relevant texts and materials into the curriculum and teaching practices, training educators, and creating inclusive learning environments that are responsive to their needs.

Included in

Education Commons