Roland Zapata

Major and Classification

Psychology and American Studies

Faculty Mentor

Miranda Barone, Ph.D.


Dornsife: Psychology

McNair Project

“The Latino Gender Gap: Access to Higher Education”

Project Abstract

Female college students outpace males in matriculation, retention, and graduation for the last three decades (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2009). This gender gap has led to critical discussions on methods to increase gender equity without impacting female college students. A recent surge of empirical studies have focused on Latino males in various stages of the educational pipeline (Strayhorn, 2010), however is sparse when compared to other male populations (Lumina Foundation, 2009; Saenz & Ponjuan, 2009). This qualitative study examines Latino males’ social capital and influence participating in two state college access initiatives by critically examining state policies efforts to use an equity lens instead of a deficit model. The proposed outcomes are to understand how these programs infuse various forms of social and cultural capital to increase college access and educational equity for Latino males.