Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Chicano Studies

Reader 1

Gilda Ochoa

Reader 2

Suyapa Portillo

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© 2019 Kevin R Kandamby


This thesis documents the lived experiences of first-generation Latinx students navigating

through predominately white institutions while attaining or attempting to attain a STEM degree. To examine this, twelve students from five different institutions were interviewed in semi- structured focus groups to better understand the educational trajectories of students in STEM. Inadequate high school preparation, educational disparities, mental health, and lack of institutional support were some of the reoccurring concerns students had across all focus groups. Students also highlighted that cultural competency across faculty in STEM, support from identity groups, and returning back to their Latinx community to serve as professionals was what has sustained them in STEM. To conclude, suggestions are offered to administration and institutions so they can support and retain first-generation Latinx students in STEM.