Villarreal, M. d. L., & García, H. A. (2016). Self-determination and goal aspirations: African american and latino males’ perceptions of their persistence in community college basic and transfer-level writing courses. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 40(10), 838-853.
This Grounded Theory study utilized Self-determination Theory to analyze the interview results of 18 community college African American and Latino males. The goal was to learn what helped participants to succeed and persist in developmental and transfer-level writing courses despite the obstacles that they faced. Three major themes emerged: (a) Male students of color continued to take and complete English courses because they were determined to achieve their academic goals; (b) they sought assistance and guidance from their English professors, from the writing lab attached to the basic skills course and from the writing tutoring staff; and (c) when they felt overwhelmed and considered dropping their English classes, their determination to achieve their goals and the assistance they received from faculty and other writing staff ultimately kept them from doing so. Therefore, first, community colleges should encourage students’ ability to be autonomous. Second, they can help students develop a sense of relatedness by providing a better sense of belonging. Third, institutions should develop strong faculty networks within the college to increase student motivation and self-determination by providing mentoring opportunities. Finally, institutions should consider utilizing faculty and other institutional agents to help students by providing information regarding various student support services that may help address issues students may be encountering.
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