Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Higher Education Administration

Major Professor

Patrick Biddix

Committee Members

Dorian McCoy, Karen Boyd, Frank Cuevas


This intrinsic case study explored the motivational factors to attend college of firstgeneration Latino males enrolled at a mid-sized institution in the Mid-Atlantic using Self- Determination Theory of motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000) as a theoretical lens. Data included individual interviews and focus group interviews with 15 participants as well as a review of Web pages and University materials. Data analysis resulted in ten themes with extrinsic and intrinsic motivational factors in congruence with Deci and Ryan’s (1985) Self- Determination Theory of motivation. Findings also revealed barriers hindering these participants from pursuing college. Implications suggest the importance of administrators, teachers, family, and friends involved to inspire, encourage, and support first-generation Latino males as they work to succeed in college.

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