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Multi-school Collaboration at All-Girl Catholic Secondary Schools: College Knowledge for Latino Parents


This study examined the impact of multi-school collaboration through Parent College Knowledge Workshops for parents of Latino first and second-generation students at all-girl Catholic Secondary Schools. As schools educate students on the expectations and college admissions process, parents have not always been part of the discussion. For Latina students, their parents play an important role in making future decisions. Additionally, small all-girl Catholic schools do not always have access to the same resources as larger high schools especially when serving inner-city students. My research design applied qualitative action research methods in order to observe the ability for multiple schools to collaborate as well as impact parent college knowledge for first and second-generation parents of Latino students through communidad. Once data were collected I determined the influence of collaboration for college knowledge workshops on parents and schools. Findings from parent questionnaires provided the Action Research team with a baseline of college knowledge all ready available to parents. Through the action research cycle, the Action Research Team was able to plan, host and evaluate workshops. Findings from observations, reflections and focus groups show the importance of investing in the relationship between schools and time into parents, especially by building trust through communidad. My findings also showed that parents first needed to learn college basics to realize that college is accessible to their daughters. Through the workshops, parents learned the importance of involving their daughters in the college conversations. Parents also learned how much time they needed to invest in researching the college process outside of what is given to them at school. My findings suggest a model for small all-girl Catholic Secondary Schools to collaborate with each other and provide college knowledge to parents of first and second-generation students.

Keywords: College knowledge, communidad, familismo, marianismo

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