Incorporation of Mexican immigrant high school students in the United States
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Mexican immigrant students are entering American schools in great numbers. Many of them come to high schools with a good educational background, but there is little knowledge about them and about the factors that contribute to their incorporation into social life in the United States. While the drop out rate of Mexican-American students in high school has remained the highest among all ethnic groups, recent immigrants are pressuring schools to meet their needs immediately. Failure to respond adequately to their needs may result in an increase in the already high drop out rate and a perpetuation of the cycle of poverty among the Mexican-American population. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that contribute to the incorporation of Mexican immigrant high school students to United States society. The design of the study is a qualitative multiple case study with a phenomenological perspective. Five Mexican immigrant high school students were selected according to specific criteria. Data was collected through in-depth, open-ended interviews, observations, and documentation. Special consideration were given to the role played by the high school in promoting the academic success of Mexican immigrant students and the contribution of native culture to the process of incorporation into United States society. This study makes contributions to knowledge about Mexican immigrant high school students that can help educators improve the services needed by this fast growing segment of the population.