From When and Where I Enter: Theoretical and Empirical Considerations of Minority Students’ Transition to College
The focus of this chapter is the transition to college for students of color (Asian American, Latina/o, African American, and Native American students). The dominant thrust of much of the scholarship examining the transition to college for students comes from Tinto’s Theory of Student Departure and research using the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ). While such theories have been important for understanding transition, recent theories particular to the experiences of students of color (e.g., acculturation, theory of validation) shed light on future areas for theory and research on transition to college. We discuss other areas of first-year college experiences (financial matters, academic preparation, family and community support) and factors that support such students’ positive acclimation to campus, which include on-campus mentoring, family and/or community support, first-year experience programming, academic support, adequate financial aid, and amelioration of a negative racial climate. We conclude the chapter with recommendations for future directions of theory development and for practice, especially the need for additional research within racial/ethnic groups and by gender.