Hispanic dropouts speak out: a study of Hispanic youth and their experiences in the public school system
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This study examined the experiences Hispanics had in school that led them to drop out. The researcher employed qualitative methods. Concept mapping was used to analyze the focus group sessions and individual interviews were analyzed using qualitative software utilizing Tinto’s theory of student departure as a framework. These methods provided a rich contextual data which supported the findings. Eleven participants were interviewed and participated in the generation of statements session of the concept mapping process. A cohort group of five participants were in the structuring stage of the concept mapping methodology and four of the five members of the cohort group participated in the interpretation session, the final stage of the concept mapping methodology. The findings revealed that Hispanics come to school with the intention of acquiring a high school diploma; however, their experiences in school contribute to their decision to leave school without a diploma. Based on these findings, a set of recommendations were proposed both to practitioners in the schools and institutions of higher learning. Hence, these findings will add to the current body of literature on dropouts.