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Running head: STRUCTURED ABSTRACT # 1 1

Structured Abstract #1

Fernando Villalpando

California State University, San Bernardino

EDUC 790

Structured Abstract #1


Gmez, Lpez, and Overton (2017) investigate into the important factors that influence

the success of DACAmented, undocumented and immigrant students in higher education. Since

not many studies have been done regarding what are some of those important factors, the

researchers take into consideration that there are important psychological and emotional

challenges this student population go through while navigating higher education in order to find

out what keeps these students pushing forward regardless of those challenges. Regardless of

those challenges, these students demonstrate resiliency and ganas (grit factor) that is noticeable

throughout their college career, and allows them to be successful.


Gmez, et.al. (2017) want to find out what are those important factors that contribute to

the success of DACAmented, undocumented and immigrant students in higher education who

regardless of challenges, continue to move forward to be successful. By doing this, there will be

a better understanding of what pushes these students forward.


In 2015 the University of Michigan hosted a National Summit at the National Center for

Institutional Diversity and the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good titled

Educational Equity Beyond Access: Institutional Action in Support of Undocumented,


DACAmented, and Immigrant Students (Gmez, et.al., p. 149, 2017). The authors of the study,

attended the event, presented, and contacted potential participants for this study.


Eight DACAmented, undocumented and immigrant students in higher education were

interviewed from various higher education institutions. They ranged from community college

students to completing a Ph.D. (Gmez et.al., 2017).


After the event, potential participants were contacted by the researchers to inquire about

their participation in a study that focuses on their experiences as DACAmented, undocumented

and immigrant students in higher education. Those who agreed to participate were given the

option to participate in an interview over the phone or in person. From the participants who

agreed to take part, seven were interviewed over the phone and one was interviewed face-to-

face (Gmez, et.al., p. 149, 2017).

Research Design

Gmez et.al. (2017) share that qualitative methods were selected to create the spaces for

participants to discuss their experiences as undocumented immigrants generally, and in higher

education institutions specifically (p. 148-149). Other than this explanation, not much was

shared on the design.

Data Collection and Analysis

Data was collected by a series of interviews with each participant. All participants were

given the choice to conduct their interview in Spanish, but all selected English as their primary

language for the interviews while randomly using Spanish words during the interviews. All

interviews were recorded and transcribed, and reviewed for accuracy. The average duration of

interviews was 40 minutes, but they ranged from 23 to 53 minutes. Researcher relied on

triangulation to analyze open ended questions, reflections on professional experiences, and

observations of the participants during the event. Transcriptions were analyzed through NVivo

Version 10.2.1 software to code the interviews and record impressions of interview data (Gmez,

et.al., 2017).


Gmez, et.al. (2017) were able to find three key factors that impacted positively the

success of these student population. Their findings say that having mentors who provide

guidance and support are a key factor for success. Another factor is the students resiliency

which provided them with either strength, bravery, courage or perseverance. The last factor is

ganas or grit which gave these students the desire and innate motivation to push forward

regardless of the challenges they faced in their journey.


The researchers of this study concluded that these three factors are in fact decisive and

important for the success of this student population, but also that higher education institutions

need to provide more services, and staff who are aware of the needs of these students. Campuses

cannot be fully inclusive if they do not have the resources and staff properly aware of the

conditions and needs of DACAmented, undocumented and immigrant students in their higher

education institutions. Only then these students will be able to reach their full potential.


Gmez, R., Lpez, W., & Overton, B. (2017). Mentors, Resiliency, and Ganas: Factors

Influencing the Success of DACAmented, Undocumented, and Immigrant Students in

Higher Education. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 16(2), 144-161. Retrieved