Perceptions of Latino males participating in a mentoring program pursuing an undergraduate degree at two Hispanic-serving institutions
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The underrepresentation of males of color, and in particular, Latino males in higher education persists. While there has been considerable studies on males of color in higher education, few research has been conducted that specifically focuses on Latino male experiences and persistence in attaining a college degree. This qualitative study sought a better understanding of the perceptions of six Latino male college students participating in a formalized mentoring program while pursuing their undergraduate degrees at two Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). By focusing on the experiences of the six Latino males participating in a mentoring program, the findings of the study found that that participants perceived their participation in a formalized mentoring program provided various sources of support networks such as academic support, mentoring opportunities, and social support as critical to their persistence in their undergraduate degrees at their institutions. This study also found that their participation in a mentoring program and interactions with their mentors served to validate the participants in this study and also created a sense of belonging for them over time at their universities. Finally, the study found that as a result of their joining a mentoring program, participants encountered additional beneficial opportunities which included building their leadership skills through participation in college activities, the availability of mentors to serve as role models, and the expansion of their social support network in meeting new peers outside of the classroom.
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