Transitions to College for Black and Latino Students

This is why I pursued the Ph.D. The daughter of two first-genereation (first-gen) students and the step-daughter of another, the only one who finished college — and then a Masters’ in elementary ed — was my mother, who trained me from an early age to see sociologically the streets and neighborhoods of New York City as well as educational, racial/ethnic, and socionomic inequality within my family and the schools I visited and occupied. From my early years in parochial schools to a well-resourced sururban public school to top-tier private universities and counseling/mentoring work primarily with black and Latino high school and college students, I continued to observe and examine these inequalities as well as supports and structures that might lessen their effects and foster greater equity in opportunities to learn and pursue socioeconomic mobility.

These studies, including my doctoral dissertation, represent scholarly efforts I have engaged in to pursue at heart the following question: what structures and mechanisms can enhance educational success for students of color, who have been historically underserved and underrepresented? My current research under this umbrella also includes intersectionality, low-income students, engineering students, student veterans, and students in HBCUs.

Orozco, R. & Perez-Felkner, L. (2017). Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá: Conceptualizing the Self-Authorship Experience of Gay Latino College Men Using Conocimiento. Journal of Latinos and Education.

Perez-Felkner, L. (2015). Perceptions and Resilience in Underrepresented Students’ Pathways to College. Teachers College Record, 117(8), 1-60. Full text available here, with TCR reprint rights.

Perez-Felkner, L. (2013). Racial inequality: Returns to educational investments. In J. W. Ainsworth & G. J. Golson (Eds.), Sociology of education: An A-to-Z guide (Vol. 18, pp. 638-640). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Perez-Felkner, L. (2012). Educational Aspirations: Understanding Social Inequality in Higher Education and Careers. Pathfinder(4).

Perez-Felkner, L., Hedberg, E. C., & Schneider, B. (2011). The Changing Landscape for Educational Opportunity: Enhancing the Public Option for Black Youth. In D. Slaughter-Defoe, H. Stevenson, E. Arrington & D. J. Johnson (Eds.), Black Educational Choice: Assessing the Private and Public Alternatives to Traditional K-12 Public Schools (pp. 234-354). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Press. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3889.6085 See also publisher and APA links.

Perez-Felkner, L. (2009). Cultivating college dreams: Social pathways to educational attainment. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from

Perez-Longobardo, L. (2005). Latino Crossings: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the Politics of Race and Citizenship. Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, 34(5), 490-491. doi: 10.1177/009430610503400515. See also journal link.