AbstractsSocial Work

From the fields to the classroom: the college transition of migrant students

by Courtney Marie Poole

Institution: California State University – Sacramento
Department: Social Work
Degree: MSW
Year: 2015
Keywords: Migrant students; College transition; Farmworkers
Record ID: 2058092
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/138649


Migrant students have been identified as one of the most vulnerable populations of students in the United States, with a high school graduation rate of less than 50% (Velazquez, 1996; Ramirez, 2012). Despite this, a number of students have successfully graduated from high school and enrolled in college. The researcher recruited study participants from California State University, Sacramento???s College Assistance Migrant Program, a program that specifically targets and supports migrant farmworker college freshman. A mixed-methods study, that includes a written survey (n=39) and individual interviews (n=5), investigated the factors that converge in migrant students??? experiences to support a successful transition to college. These factors include social and cultural capital, the legacy of farm work, resilience, identity formation, and educational guidance and support. An astounding 97.4% of participants self-reported experiencing a successful transition to college. Participants also reported high rates of familial support (97.4%), educational guidance (94.7%), and a strong bi-cultural identity (97.4%). The results of the study indicate that no factor is the sole contributor to a successful college transition, and calls for expansion of migrant student programs that support social, cultural, and academic prosperity.