Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kris T. DePedro, PhD

Second Advisor

Geraldine McNenny, PhD

Third Advisor

Suzanne SooHoo, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Marisol Arredondo, PhD


This study includes the experiences of six first-generation Latinx alumnae who attended three private, predominantly-White universities in Southern California. It applied a critical race theory (CRT) framework and an anti-deficit ideology to their experiences. Importantly, because the participants and the researcher are of different identities, the study employed principles of culturally responsive methodologies (CRM). Most quantitative research and existent theory concerning first-generation Latinx collegiate women excludes the voices of first-generation Latinx alumnae, so this study included the telling of their counter-stories concerning their undergraduate experiences. These experiences included identity-threat, microaggressions, and the enactment of White privilege. Additionally, their counter-stories contradict majoritarian stories concerning first-generation students and their families, as well as institutional values of fairness, meritocracy, colorblindness, and diversity. The methodology of the study was CRT counter-storytelling. Concepts of narrative inquiry informed the research design. Counter-stories of the participants were shared during conversations and interviews, then interpreted using the framework of CRT and a method of thematic analysis. All members of the study have graduated with a bachelor’s degree, and their experiences provide direction for additional research concerning first-generation theory as it applies to Latinx collegiate women, as well as implications for policy and praxis regarding the future experiences of Latinx students on U.S. higher education campuses.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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