Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Family Science and Human Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Katia Paz Goldfarb

Committee Member

Katia Paz Goldfarb

Committee Member

Jonathan Caspi

Committee Member

David Schwarzer


Despite an increasing representation of Latin@s in the college system and in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI); Latin@ college students’ in-class experiences have been overlooked, particularly in bilingual courses. A phenomenological study of the Latin@ college students’ experience in a Bilingual Latin@ Family Class that incorporated aspects of the Latin@ culture in the instructional process at a HSI, included ten participant and three one-to-one interviews. The study provided a perspective on the complex reciprocal interaction of the Bioecological systems, the Funds of Knowledge and the Latin@ college students’ experiences. Five themes and additional subthemes were identified: (1) “Eye Opener” (courage, encouragement, cognitive knowledge, awareness of others, and self-awareness), (2) “It was Real Stuff” (teacher, safe and secure), (3) “What We Know is the Real Deal” (diversity, familism, identity, and native language), (4) “A Lot to be Done”, (5) Socio-Historical Time (presidential election, generations). Findings highlighted that interdisciplinary and integrative focus of Bronfenbrenner’s theory and its explicit interest in application to policies and programs of development could be useful for Latin@ students at the higher education level. In addition, the use of Funds of Knowledge to promote personal development, enhance family relations, and to trigger broader social change in Latin@ college students advance their success in the American education and the U.S. society.

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