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Erica K. Yamamura

Dissertation Fellow, 2005

Dissertation: Moving from College Access to Educational Equity: Peer Social Capital in a University Outreach Program

About: With continuing challenges in access to higher education for urban minority students, looking in-depth at outreach programs is imperative in this time of fiscal uncertainty in California. Increased accountability to policymakers with decreased funding necessitates identifying outreach outcomes that not only facilitate college-going but also translate into college success. This study aims to uncover the long-term effects of a university outreach program by linking its effectiveness from acceptance to college alone (college access) to adjustment and persistence in the college years (college equity).  Building on a pilot study that identified peer social capital as a salient resource in students’ college application processes, this study will continue to examine the influence of outreach peers on students’ transition to college and first-year experience. Informed by theories of social capital and critical race theory, interviews with outreach students and document analyses of the outreach program will be conducted.

Fanny PF Yeung

Dissertation Fellow, 2010

Dissertation: Legacy of Immigration on Second-generation Immigrant Students in Higher Education

Abstract: The Purpose of this dissertation is to explore the college experiences of second-generation immigrants and how immigrant histories and family responsibilities influence their postsecondary experiences.  The educational outcomes of second-generation students are highly polarized depending on parents’ educational attainment, degree of manual labor required of their parents’ occupational positions, and are further polarized by students’ academic preparation in under-resourced schools and unfamiliarity with the American educational system.  Most research has thus far consolidated first- and second-generation immigrants or has generally focused on first-generation, foreign-born immigrants; overall, little is known about the long-term adaptations of second-generation immigrants in education.  Utilizing Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth and an adapted relational accountability framework, this dissertation incorporates three phases of qualitative investigation (semi-structured interviews, photographic documentation, and case studies) with 40 second-generation immigrant college students and selected family members to explore how the family’s immigrant experiences influence students’ experiences and retention in college.


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