Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Fall 2009


Shroyer, G., Yahnke, S., Morales, A., Dunn, C., Lohfink, G., & Espinoza, P. (Fall, 2009). Barriers and bridges to success: Factors for retention of nontraditional Mexican American students in teacher education. Enrollment Management Journal. 40-73.


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This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative, microethnographic case study of 15 nontraditional, Mexican American students as they completed their coursework in a 2+2 teacher education program in the Midwest. The theoretical frameworks that serve as the basis of this study are Tinto’s Model of Student Integration (Tinto, 1975, 1993), Bean’s attrition model (1980), and von Destinon’s empowerment model (1988). This integrated framework is an inclusive adaptation as it addresses the complex interaction among first-generation, Mexican American students’ backgrounds, geographical locations, and the institutions that serve them. The researchers identify characteristics of those students who persisted on to graduation, and they suggest critical capacities and actions among implementers that serve as factors of support in nontraditional student retention and graduation.