College for All: Chicana/o and Latina/o Empowerment Agents Working to Increase Latina/o Students’ College-Going Opportunities

  • Leticia Rojas


This one-year qualitative study examined the ways in which five Chicana/o and Latina/o teachers committed to social justice perceived their roles in their college-going work with Latina/o students, as well as the challenges threatening their efforts with students. Building on Stanton-Salazar’s (2011) concept of empowerment social capital, the findings showed that these teachers perceived college access as an equity issue, challenging dominant narratives of tracking and deficit-thinking in their college-going practices. Despite their ongoing and persistent commitments, the findings also revealed various challenges to these teachers’ work with students, such as the lack of schooling funding and college-going resources and a struggle to maintain a work-life balance. The results of this study have implications for school leadership and the reconceptualization of the teacher role in Latina/o students’ college-going processes.