Exploring the career development of Latino English language learners in a rural midwest high school
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The population of Latina/o foreign-born adolescents is significantly increasing in the United States, consequently populating schools, and diversifying student bodies (Census, 2010). Specifically, families of immigrant students relocate due to better job security to rural Midwest areas. The lack of established ethnic enclaves and social capital make it difficult for immigrants to transition. The result of this cultural context affects Latina/o English Language Learners (ELL) adolescents in the high school system, where students encounter further academic and social challenges (Yakushko et al., 2008). Brofenbrenner's Ecological Model (1979) has been helpful in understanding the individual, contextual, and interactional factors of career development for people of color (e.g. Tang & Russ, 2007; Kitano, 1997). Although the Ecological Model has been implemented for low income Latina/o students, few studies have applied it to different geographical locations within the US. This qualitative study interviewed 18 Latino ELL students from a rural Midwest high school who ranged in ages from 16-19 years. Participants were asked 11 semi-structured questions based upon the ecological model which explored: relationships, school experiences, challenges and resources in high school, coping, and cultural diversity experience. The results revealed five themes across the participants: the physical and environmental adjustment process, oppression, school-related coping, sources of social support, and expectations for the future that contributed to participants' career development. Learning from the experiences of participants in this study will allow educators and community members to better understand how to work with Latino ELL students in a culturally appropriate manner in the rural Midwest.
Access is limited to the University of Missouri--Columbia.