Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:An Inside Look of ALAS and Latino Freshman Retention Rates
Author(s):Morales, Cristy
ANTH285 F07
Abstract:This research project aims to understand the overall attitudes Latino students have toward Illinois State University. Our research revolves around the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), MSAC, significant Latino retention rate drop, and overall Latino student involvement on campus. These all lead to students’ perceptions about the Latino community at ISU. Using interviews directed at both students and faculty, we have found that the four main reasons for a drop in Latino retention numbers are because of money, disorientation, language ability and first generation college student dilemmas. Furthermore, three other important reasons that show why students join Latino based organizations on campus is the ability to meet and interact with other Latino students, the inclusion of one’s own culture in daily college life, and keeping Latino traditions alive within our generation. After conducting several interviews within the Latino student community, we deduced that most individuals are part of ALAS because of a “home away from home” factor. For my particular part in the project i interviewed two professors and two students who no longer attend Illinois State to aquire a better insight on my topic. Finally, based on our findings we noticed throughout our research, the low number of minority students is concerning. There are several things that could be done to help make this proportion of inequality narrower. A few recommendations that may help boost the freshman Latino retention rates would be helping first generation college students with the college application process and hold workshops for helping these students fill out FAFSA correctly. Possibly developing activities that are focused toward minorities during preview week and passages, which would help create a sense of diversity on campus. Also, informing students about different organizations on campus through ALAS meetings and encouraging Illinois State to putting more effort in developing a more serious Latin American and Latin studies programs.
Issue Date:2008-03-04
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-03-04

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.
  • The University and the Community
    This collection of student research interrogates the relationships between the university and the local community.

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