2021 Senior Scholar Book of the Year, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE)
Based on interview data, life testimonios, and Chicana feminist theories, The Chicana/o/x Dream profiles first-generation, Mexican-descent college students who have overcome adversity by utilizing various forms of cultural capital to power their academic success.
While college enrollment rates for Chicana/o/x students have steadily increased over the last decade, this cohort still faces significant barriers to academic achievement, including minimal information about college and limited access to the kind of preparation and advising that will help them get there. As a result, Chicana/o/x students maintain stubbornly low four-year completion rates. Against this backdrop, Gilberto Q. Conchas and Nancy Acevedo address the mechanisms that shape the achievement, aspirations, and expectations of Chicana/o/x students who grew up in marginalized communities and unequal school contexts and share success stories about this growing population of students.
Conchas and Acevedo elevate the voices of students at a research university and in the community college sector to reveal important issues and factors impacting and shaping the students’ academic journeys. The college-age men and women in the narratives evince hope, resistance, and empowerment in the face of marginalization, anti-immigration sentiment, poverty, and an education system that too often reinforces deficit-minded stereotypes.
The authors critique the educational policies and practices that systematically fail to champion Chicana/o/x success and examine the use of community cultural wealth that supports US-born and US immigrant students of Mexican descent to make their achievement possible. In so doing, the authors look toward the future by highlighting the actions that Chicana/o/x students take in creating bridges between K–12 to college and between their communities and higher education.
The Chicana/o/x Dream helps define the heart and soul of tomorrow’s America and elucidates how Chicana/o/x college students maintain hope, enact resistance, and succeed against injustice. The book offers a call to action to K–20 educators and administrators to develop better supports to foster the success of Mexican-descent students.
Gilberto Q. Conchas is the Wayne K. and Anita Woolfolk Hoy Professor of Education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University. Conchas’s research unearths the triumphs of urban youth of color despite unequal school-community processes. He is the author and coauthor of nine books—including The Color of Success, Streetsmart Schoolsmart, Cracks in the Schoolyard, and The Complex Web of Inequality—numerous articles, book chapters, and policy reports. Dr. Conchas has been a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of California at Irvine and visiting professor at the University of Southern California, San Francisco State University, University of Washington, University of Barcelona, and the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Barbara.
Nancy Acevedo is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Technology at California State University, San Bernardino. Acevedo uses critical race and Chicana feminist theories to examine transitions along the higher education pipeline for Latina/o/x students, with a focus on college access, choice, and transitions. She was a UC/ACCORD Dissertation Fellow and a Faculty Fellow for the American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education. Her research has received several recognitions, such as the 2019 American Educational Research Association Latina/o/x Research Issues Emerging Scholar Award.
"Through powerful narratives of resistance and hope, Gilberto Q. Conchas and Nancy Acevedo advance a useful framework for understanding how Chicana/o/x students navigate within educational borderlands to achieve the Chicana/o/x Dream for themselves and others." —Teachers College Record