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Garcia and Colleague Publish on Barriers to Hispanic Students in Transferring from Community College to a University

Victor Garcia, anthropologist and director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Training Institute, together with Bobby Alexander, associate professor of sociology at UT Dallas, published Barriers Faced by Hispanic Students Transferring from Community Colleges to University: An Ethnographic Approach (New York: Edwin Press).

The book is based on a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education U.S. Department of Education project, “An Ethnographic/Social Science/Community-Based Model to Recruit and Retain Hispanics.” Garcia participated in this project for five years (1999–2004) and was on staff at UT Dallas as a research scientist during this time. The project was one of the first of its kind in the country and, over the years, has generated much interest.

Barriers Faced by Hispanic Students Transferring from Community Colleges to University: An Ethnographic Approach is a case study, and some of the results and observations are generalizable to other community college systems outside of the Dallas County Community College District, a major project site in conjunction with UT Dallas.

Garcia and Alexander reviewed the extant literature on the barriers to transfer for Latino community college students and took pains to frame their observations within the literature. Among the identified and studied barriers were the lack of financial resources, gendered cultural views of education in the Latino community, and institutional obstacles. Garcia and Alexander have compelling field observations on an understudied but critically important topic for young Latinos. They provide a much better understanding of the thorny problem of Hispanic transfer from community colleges to the university.

Findings related to this project were also published in the Journal of Hispanic Education, Teaching Anthropology: Publication of the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges, and the Community College Enterprise: A Journal of Research and Practice.

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