The Secret Ingredient in Student Success in Latina/o Communities

The Latinx population is on the rise and census data projects that by 2060, 1 in 3 of U.S. residents will be Latinx. Although the population is on the rise, Latinx student success still lags behind other racial groups. While statistics on Latinx educational success may seem hopeless, there are things educators can do to support Latinx students. Dr. Jennifer Matos from Mt. Holyoke College and Dr. Edelina Burciaga from the University of Colorado Denver discuss what educators can do to support Latinx students and their families to nurture students and bolster student success.

Dr. Jennifer Matos

Photograph of Jen Daigle-Matos

Jennifer Matos' degree specializes in social justice education and is interested in the role of equality and liberation in learning communities. Matos' research has two distinct areas. In the first area she exam-ines the assets that students from marginalized groups bring to the classroom and how those strengths can be utilized to enhance the system of public education in the U.S. In the second area, she examines the effects on learning and activist outcomes when college students report feeling cared for by their in-structors.

Courses Taught

  • Racism and Inequality in Schools and Society
  • Psychology of Racism
  • The Process of Teaching and Learning in Middle and Secondary Schools
  • Practicum Seminar in Teaching and Learning: Middle and Secondary Schools

Recent Publications

  • Matos, J.M.D. (2015). La Familia: The Important Ingredient for Latina/o College Student Engagement and Persistence. Equity and Excellence in Education. 48 (3) 436-453.

Edelina Burciaga

Photo of E. Burciaga

Edelina Burciaga is Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Colorado, Denver.  Burciaga's current research examines the experiences of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Burciaga uses qualitative research methods to understand how federal, state, and local laws and policies shape the educational experiences, ethnic identity development, and activism of Latino undocumented young adults in Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA. Burciaga is also working on two related projects; the first examines the educational experiences of undocumented immigrant students enrolled at the University of California, and the second, examines the impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) for young adults in Colorado.