Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Kelly-Vance


As the diversity of American society continues to increase, schools are seeing an influx of children from different cultures. One of the fastest growing minority groups is the Latino population. Research shows that Latino children are at risk for underachievement in American schools; however, the reasons for this are still unknown. Many researchers have speculated that factors such as conflicting cultural value systems, differing academic values, and lower levels of acculturation vis-a-vis the dominant culture influence the underachievement of Latino children. In the present study, I investigate the views of both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking parents to determine whether they differ in their ideas of what constitute academic success. The results of the current study indicated both cross-cultural similarities and differences in parental perceptions of what constitutes school success. Academic achievement was the most important attribute of school success for both the Spanish- and English-speaking parents, though a significantly greater proportion of English-speaking parents listed academic achievement as the main criterion of academic success and did not differ between parental groups in terms of the relative proportion of endorsement.


An Ed.S. Field Project Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Education Specialist University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Jessica Gregory-Wells August, 2006