Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2022

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


A central Latinx cultural value is familismo, which involves dedication to family and seeking the family’s advice for important decisions, such as educational goals. According to Chicanx feminism, familismo framework, there is a gap between the values of Latinx families and higher education which tends to reward independence. This gap leaves many first-generation college (FGC) Latinx students feeling like their culture is excluded from their college experience. In my study, I examined how Latina immigrant mothers and FGC daughters have navigated educational barriers utilizing familismo and other cultural capital. I identified what prompted their resiliency to distinguish ways to create retention-focused support systems for first-generation Latinx families (FGLF). The study was guided by the following questions: What is the relationship between Latina immigrant mothers and their daughters’ educational journey? What are the barriers and successes in the student’s academic journey? How would FGLF like to be included in higher education? Using a mixed-method approach of questionnaires, interviews, and a platica (focus group), I found parents of FGC Latinas wanted to be included in their daughters’ education by connecting their Latinx identity to college programs. My findings can inform college initiatives and best practices to increase retention and foster a culture that welcomes FGLF into the higher education system.