Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Social Innovation (M.A.)

Degree Program

School of Community Leadership & Development

First Advisor

Santos Ramos

Second Advisor

Azfar Hussain

Third Advisor

Raymond Higbea

Academic Year



In the state of Michigan, the marginalization of Latino students continues due to historical and social factors; this is ultimately reflected in higher education enrollment and graduation rates when compared to their White peers, the dominant group in the state (MI School Data, 2022). For varying reasons, not every student will seek higher education after high school, but it is worth ensuring opportunities and reasons to attend are properly communicated for sake of helping Latino students better explore all their college and career options. While the Michigan Latino population has the highest labor force participation compared to other racial or ethnic groups, Latinos are still underrepresented in various job sectors outside of the service industry and significantly fall below the overall statewide median household income (MSU Today, 2015). Additionally, when Latinos are the minority in the space of higher education, there is a greater information gap related to college readiness versus when they are the majority (Person & Rosenbaum, 2006). Higher education can help close these gaps and promote greater social mobility for Latinos and their families (Martinez et al., 2020; Person & Rosenbaum 2006). The purpose of this study is to acknowledge and develop strategies on how to better impact Michigan Latino high school students’ perceptions of higher education through bettering communicative approaches. Through connecting scholarly, peer-reviewed research paired with the work being done in Michigan, key influencers and factors that affect Michigan Latino student matriculation to 4-year universities can be identified and built upon. By highlighting the strategies in the research and field, higher education institutions and Latino students can better communicate, engage, and explore life after high school together; the goal is to better the connectivity between the two.