Hispanic American Degree Attainment and the Effects of Critical Events and Support Systems

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Summer 2012


The purpose of this study is to identify the critical events and support systems that have contributed to the attainment of an academic doctorate by Hispanics and to discern the similarities that existed in their parental educational level, socioeconomic status, and cultural background. The study will furthermore seek to identify major obstacles encountered by the subjects in attaining their degree and how the respondents dealt with the problems with which they were confronted. This analysis can be a tool for developing programs and support systems that will increase the number of future doctoral degree recipients. Consider that today Hispanics are the youngest population group in the United States; one-third of Hispanics are under 18 years of age, and they represent approximately 15 % of the K-12 population. While the Hispanic population continues to grow, its educational achievement continues to lag behind the rest of the nation (Fry, 2003). This study concerning Hispanic American students who have attained an academic doctorate is descriptive in nature. A two-part questionnaire will be set up on an official internet based survey website, via Survey Monkey, as well as mailed to one hundred Hispanic American students who have earned a doctoral degree. A letter explaining the nature and purpose of the study will be included with each questionnaire. Every participant will be assured that their anonymity and confidentiality of information will be respected following standard research practices. If a questionnaire has not been returned by the end of three weeks, a follow-up letter of inquiry will be sent electronically, when possible, to verify receipt and anticipated date of return of the questionnaire. Telephone calls will also be made in order to provide quality follow-up with each prospective participant who requests further clarification or who may not have responded to each question. The first part of the questionnaire will request demographic information about each respondent, including parental education, cultural background, cultural orientation and socioeconomic characteristics. The second part of the questionnaire will garner information concerning critical events, support systems, and major obstacles encountered by the subjects in the pursuit and completion of the doctoral degree.


Maria Hinojosa

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision