Latinx Scholar-Ballers: The Educational Experience of Latinx Student Athletes Across Varying Institutional Settings

Summer 2020

Ladislao Rodriguez : Ethnic Studies, Sociology

Donor: Wishek Fund
Mentor: Pablo Gonzalez

Have you ever heard of Joe Kapp? Aside from being a NCAA Men's Basketball champion, the last Cal QB to play in the Rose Bowl and the head coach during "The Play" Kapp was a Latinx student-athlete. Joe Kapp and Latinx student-athletes, are easy to recognize anywhere they go because of the value placed upon athletics in society. For this reason, their ability to succeed or not in higher education impacts how people from Latinx communities view the potential of higher education. While Latinx student-athlete graduation rate is below the national NCAA average, there is a push Universities, like Cal, to become Hispanic Serving Institutions to meet the rising demand of a growing Latinx student population. A (HSI) Hispanic Serving Institution is an accredited, degree-granting, public or private institution of higher education with 25% or more full time hispanic student enrollment. With this push in mind, I will analyze & compare the experiences of Latinx student-athletes who attend a HSI with a Division II sports program as well as those at a non-HSI with a Division 1 sports program, in order to point out obstacles they face which can provide the baseline information to develop resources to best serve these student populations. Through in-depth interview and survey data, this research seeks to uplift the narratives of Latinx student-athletes to inform and outline how Latinx student-athletes can be best served by the institutions which they attend and generate revenue for.

To the donors of the Wishek Fund: I would like to express my gratitude for having been given the opportunity to build foundational skills in reading, writing, and self-expression during such difficult times. This opportunity enabled me to apply my academic skills to everyday life. In the Sociology and Ethnic Studies departments, there are limited funding opportunities for scholars. I am happy to have been supported by the Wishek Fund. Thank you so much.