Disrupting the Dominant Discourse: Exploring the Mentoring Experiences of Latinx Community College Students

Gloria Crisp, Erin Doran, Vincent Carales, Christopher Potts
Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education  •  Volume 5  •  2020  •  pp. 057-078

The purpose of this study was to better understand the sources of mentoring and ways in which mentors, as forms of social and familial capital, facilitate the development of capital among Latinx community college students

A more focused and nuanced understanding of the role of mentors in further developing Latinx students’ capital is needed to guide mentoring programs in designing asset-based programs that recognize and build upon students’ community cultural wealth

Drawing from Solórzano and Yosso’s (2001) work, we use asset-based, counter-storytelling as a qualitative, methodological approach to reframe the deficit perspective that is embedded in prior literature on Latinx college students. The sample included 11 Latinx community college students who participated in the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

Results suggest that mentoring programs designed to serve Latinx community college students may be more efficient and may provide more meaningful support by recognizing and building upon the assets and capital provided by students’ networks and communities.

Interviews revealed that participants leveraged community cultural wealth in the form of mentoring networks established prior to and during college, to develop other forms of capital that enabled them to reach their educational goals.

The paper provides practical implications for mentoring programs, initiatives that include a mentoring component, as well as more generally for institutional agents who support Latinx students.

Findings provide a foundation for future research opportunities that could further examine how supportive relationships with institutional agents promote the educational and professional success of Latinx community college students.

Several suggestions for future research are provided, including qualitative work that explores how students identify and interact with mentors and other institutional agents during college and how they utilize these relationships to navigate the college environment.

Latinx, college students, mentoring, community colleges, faculty
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