Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Tonette S. Rocco

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Norma M. Goonen

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Guillermo J. Grenier

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Adult Education, Higher Education, Retention, Latino Students, Hispanic Students, Non-academic factors, Persistence, Cuban Women, Cuban Students, Baccalaureate Attainment, Latino Educational Outcomes, Community College, English Language Learners, Student Affairs, Student Services

Date of Defense



Cubans arrive in the U.S. with more formal education than other Latino immigrants, and they arrive to communities with long standing networks of support. Though their baccalaureate degree attainment is better than their non-Cuban Latina counterparts, Cuban women still lag behind White, non-Latina women. The qualitative study aims to explore the principal influences and non-academic factors that 15 adult Cuban non-native English-speaking women in South Florida attribute to the successful attainment of their baccalaureate degree.

There are many differences among the various immigrant Latino communities in the U.S., and Cuban women are largely absent from the research. Nearly 75% of Cuban women who start Miami Dade College with English as a second language course-work drop out within one year of matriculation. Understanding the principal influences and non-academic factors related to the baccalaureate attainment rate of this group may assist educators and administrators in providing the support these women need to enhance their degree completion. The literature says that the baccalaureate degree attainment of Latinos is influenced by age-at-the-time-of-immigration, country of origin, and gender, yet little research was found on the degree attainment specifically of female Cubans who entered the U.S. having already completed most of their education in Cuba.

My dissertation explores the journey of 15 Cuban women who arrived in the U.S. as teens during the 1990s and had to learn English as a second language at an urban community college prior to completing a baccalaureate degree. The purpose of the research is to describe the principal influences and non-academic factors that these women attribute to their baccalaureate degree attainment.





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