Exploring the Impact of Needs, Mentorship, and Social Capital on Student Success among Hispanic College Students at an Established Hispanic Serving Institution in Central Texas
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As the number of Hispanics in higher education increases, it is crucial to understand their experiences, needs, and social support that will retain them in higher education (Santiago, Galdeano and Taylor 2015). Research has shown that despite social, cultural, and academic challenges (Delgado-Romero and Hernandez 2002), Hispanic students derive support from peers, family, and faculty members (Baker 2013). Yet, there is little research Hispanic student experiences and engagement in extra-curricular activities such as leadership, mentorship, and participation in cultural events. The aims of this study is threefold. First, to examine what socio-cultural student characteristics are related to student engagements in extra-curricular activities. Second, to explore what forms of social capital students draw from home and Hispanic student organizations. Thirdly, to understand the perceptions of students in regards to factors that contribute to their retention, success, barriers, and challenges in higher education. A secondary data analysis was conducted on a sample of 214 Hispanic college students from the 2014 Hispanic Student Campus Climate Survey conducted by an affiliate organization at a public four year Hispanic Serving Institution in Central Texas. Results of both quantitative and qualitative analysis in this study show their patterns of engagement in a diverse college environment, leadership, and forms of social support such as mentorship. Although Hispanic college students reported having high aspirations and optimism, they reported facing many challenges, barriers, and unmet needs such as mentorship. Sources of social support and mentorship from their family and their participation in Hispanic student organizations and other institutional agents contribute to their sense of belonging in a college environment and student reported wanting more. This study reinforced the importance and value of culturally responsive support resources, such as mentorship and other forms of institutional support promotes the retention of Hispanics in higher education.