Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio, Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Teresa Lucas

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Joanne Sanders-Reio

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Tonette S. Rocco

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


self-efficacy, self-regulated learning strategies, persistence, Hispanic, college, ELL

Date of Defense



In adult education, studies have been done in the areas of persistence, self-efficacy, self-regulated learning strategies and the Hispanic population. However, this study was unique in its attempt at examining the link between the self-efficacy and self-regulated learning strategies in the persistence of Hispanic college English language learners. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the experience of 1st generation Hispanic English Language learners during their first year at a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

The researcher conducted 14 semi-structured interviews of their experiences both as immigrants learning the English language and first-generation college students by utilizing a phenomenological framework. The study served two purposes: (a) informing the literature and (b) supporting the necessity for helping facilitate the path to higher education for first-generation Hispanic college students. Six themes emerged from the data related to persistence among the participants: (a) unwavering support from families and teachers, (b) role models matter, (c) struggles in the pursuit of the seemingly elusive American Dream, (d) difficulties in navigating the higher education system as first-generation college students, (e) friendships and the role they play in the participants’ lives, and finally, (f) uncertainty of the future and participants’ expectations after graduation.

Theoretical, empirical, and practical implications related to persistence among 1st year Hispanic students are explored. In particular, these findings highlight the need for future research that informs existing theoretical models of student persistence and the practical utility of attending to learners’ needs early in the collegiate experience.





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