Comunidad: Promoting the Educational Persistence and Success of Chicana/o College Students


Alberta Gloria

Document Id: OC-48

Creation of a university community that is (a) welcoming and culturally-inclusive (i.e., promotes cultural ambience) and (b) where members are committed to promoting cultural ambience to help Chicana/o students academically persist and succeed is essential to the task of retaining Chicana/o students. That is, the cultural beliefs and values of Chicana/o students must be reflected in their different academic and personal environments to the extent that they can succeed in their environments without needing to hide or change their cultural identities (Gloria and Robinson-Kurpius, 1996). For what reasons would institutions of higher education not want to provide culturally-relevant learning environments relevant for all students and faculty? Unfortunately, the answer to this complex question may be partly accounted for by the need of some to control economic, political, and social resources and opportunities. Because the Latino population will increase more quickly than the national growth rate over the next 20 years (Chapa and Valencia, 1993), the school-aged population of Chicana/os will also reflect these demographic changes (Nevárez-La Torre and Hidalgo, 1997). As a result, social, political, and cultural changes within academia are inevitable.

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