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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Marginality and Mattering: Urban Latino Male Undergraduates in Higher Education

Author(s): Huerta, A. H., & Fishman, S. M.

Citation: Huerta, A. H., & Fishman, S. M. (2014). Marginality and Mattering: Urban Latino Male Undergraduates in Higher Education. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 26(1), 85-100.



This qualitative study of first-generation, low-income urban Latino male college students considers their transition experience and success in various higher education institutions. Schlossberg’s theory of mattering and marginality is used as a lens to explore how these students navigate the college environment and build relationships with campus agents. The findings focus on the students’ motivations to attend college, the importance of the college environment, the impact of mentorship, and feelings of mattering as a result of relationships with campus peers and professional staff. The authors offer implications and program recommendations for student affairs professionals to better support and understand Latino male students at their institutions.


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