Nuñez, A. M. (2011). Counterspaces and connections in college transitions: First-generation Latino students’ perspectives on Chicano studies. Journal of College Student Development, 52(6), 639-655.

This study explored how first-generation Latino sophomores in a public research university describe the influence of Chicano Studies classes on their college transition experiences. Students reported that taking Chicano Studies offered them opportunities to handle feelings of isolation, build awareness of community heritage, develop more meaningful student-faculty relationships, and understand perspectives of people from different backgrounds. These processes enhanced their capacity to manage key developmental issues during their college transitions, including handling racism and forming a sense of community on campus. This study offers insights about how practitioners, researchers, and policymakers can address these students’ experiences with campus diversity.

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