Academic Experiences Of Former AVID Hispanic Students In Higher Education
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As a response to the underrepresentation of Hispanic students within four-year higher education institutions (Boden, 2011; Tinto, 2012), this study sought to better understand a) how first-year Hispanic students managed and maintained success and b) how strategies learned in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) impacted that success. AVID is a college-readiness system that aims to close the educational achievement gap through improving the college access and academic skills among underrepresented students. Results gleaned from this in-depth, qualitative examination of four male and four female Hispanic participants reveal five attributes to a successful first-year. Those attributes are 1) participate in rigorous courses while in high school, 2) participate in AVID for five or more years, 3) establish at least one system of support, 4) develop cognitive and non-cognitive skills necessary for navigating the complexities of the academic experience, and 5) create effective time management strategies. Using Bourdieu's (1986) theory of cultural capital, this study reveals that participants have developed their cultural capital through a) embodying successful academic and non-academic habits, b) strengthening their ability to sustain academic conversations with peers, and c) increasing their chances of attaining institutional credentials. Because of this increased cultural capital among participants, this study concludes that developing cultural capital is improving participants' level of higher education success.