Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


The dissertation increases our understanding of the influence of multiple social systems on the academic achievement of Latino students. More specifically, this study examines the influence and dynamic interaction of individual, family, school, community, and immigration factors on the academic achievement of Latino students through a secondary data analysis of the ELS: 2002 dataset utilizing hierarchical linear modeling. Academic achievement is measured with a dichotomous variable: high achieving and low achieving. "High achieving" students are those that have an on-time transition to higher education and "low achieving" students are those that have a delayed or no transition to higher education. Latino students in the U.S. have consistently had the highest high school dropout rate of all ethnic groups as reported from 1980-2009 though there is an increasing enrollment in colleges. The findings show that living in a household with two parents, having parents who have higher educational expectations for the student, engaging in extracurricular activities, planning to go to college and seeking out information regarding college, and going to a school with a higher percentage of Hispanic teachers increase the likelihood of an on-time transition to higher education. This study makes a unique contribution to the fields of social work and education, and some of the constituents that would benefit include educators, school administrators, student support services personnel, including tutoring, mentoring, counseling and school social work professionals, local, state and federal educational policy actors, Latino students and their families, as well as family support and early intervention professionals.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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