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La Familia and Other Secret Ingredients to Latinx Student Success

Jennifer M. Matos

Almost like a well-kept family recipe, there exists in education secret ingredients into what makes Latinx students successful. La Familia and Other Secret Ingredients to Latinx Student Success demonstrates how Latinx parents, a well-kept secret ingredient, assist with the academic success of Latinx students at all educational levels. Understanding the power of this secret ingredient—and how to use it—can have a profound impact on success for Latinxs students and can be used as a model for how to work with and support students from all marginalized groups. La Familia and Other Secret Ingredients to Latinx Student Success is suitable for educators at all levels. This book can be used in general education and teacher preparation courses, ethnic studies courses, training for individuals in helping professions, or to launch exciting new dialogue.

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Chapter 5. Manifestations of Cultural Capital: Participants at Smith College

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·5·

Manifestations of Cultural Capital

Participants at Smith College

Smith College is a highly selective, liberal arts, PWI located in a small town in Western Massachusetts. The college is relatively small with about 2,500 undergraduate students enrolled. Founded in 1871, the mission of the college is to empower women and prepare them for “lives of distinction.” Sophia Smith, the college’s founder had expressed an intention of having the college located in the center of a town, so the students could be a part of the life of the town and so the town could be a part of the institution. Northampton, the town that the college is located in could be described as the “idyllic” college town, offering many coffee shops, novelty stores, restaurants, and pubs. While a female President presently leads the college, it wasn’t until 1975 that the institution was led by its first female President, Jill Ker Conway. Most of the students enrolled at the college live within a house system on campus in dwellings that more closely resemble cottages. Not all of the undergraduate students enrolled are “traditionally aged” students, with non-traditional aged students enrolled at the college in the Ada Comstock Scholars program.

While the college offers an array of courses in the arts and humanities, it has received attention for its science program, the renown of being a gender inclusive institution with an engineering program, and a large endowment. This attention to engineering was due...

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