Over the past ten years Puerto Rico has been experiencing a severe economic crisis that was worsened when Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 20, 2017. Maria hit Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm, devastating the whole island and its 3.4 million residents. Many students were left with minimal educational choices after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. Research on Latino/a students shows that they are met with unique experiences and challenges as they pursue higher education. The current study uses qualitative data to investigate what are the unique challenges and needs of displaced students from Puerto Rico? and what role does social capital play in confronting and navigating the challenges and needs associated with their transition to a new institutional setting? This study proposes to research the issues that many displaced Puerto Rican college student's face and add to the growing body of knowledge. It is important to understand how these recently displaced students will be affected by leaving behind, economic capital and cultural capital that they had built up in their communities on the island. Participation in the study included 9 participants from a large southeastern university that provided in-state tuition to displaced students for semi-structured qualitative interviews. Results revealed that family support was the main source of support for many of the students. Mentorship support was key in their educational success because the more support and encouragement from faculty led to a better transition. Support from peers was positively associated with a better transition and feeling of acceptance. Higher campus resources were positively associated with a better transition.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Cabrera, Esmeralda, "Hurricane Maria: A Qualitative Study of Recently Displaced Students to the State of Florida" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6458.