Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies

First Advisor

Juan Jose Gutierrez


This research studied the attitudes and perceptions towards education in foreign-born and first-generation immigrant students enrolled at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Data was collected through an online survey that used original questions by the researcher as well as modified questions from The Center for Applied Research in Education, and the 2004 National Survey of Latinos: Education (PHC, 2004). Concepts from the Cultural Ecological Theory developed by John Ogbu were applied to this project as it explores the academic performance among immigrant students (voluntary minority). According to Ogbu, voluntary minorities have a pragmatic and optimistic attitude towards schooling (Ogbu & Simons, 1998). The study identified the students’ demographics, academic performance, and attitudes and perceptions towards education. On average, foreign-born and first-generation immigrant students have positive attitudes and perceptions towards education with slight differences. Data suggest that participants, especially first-generation, are critical to the challenges faced by the immigrant community including language barriers, legal status, economic status, inexperienced teachers, lack of school funding, and lack of programs aimed at immigrant students. Traits of resilience were found in the participants’ response to schooling.

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