In this article, Anne-Marie Nuñez uses data from a national longitudinal study of students enrolled in four-year public research universities to assess the effects of social capital and intercultural capital—the capacity to negotiate diverse racial/ethnic environments—on Latino students’ sense of belonging in college and on their perceptions of a hostile racial/ethnic climate. She finds that Latino students who are more familiar with diversity issues and who report more social and academic connection and engagement experience a greater sense of belonging even as they also experience a more hostile campus climate. Her findings provide a nuanced understanding of Latino students’ college experiences, with implications for how access to intercultural capital through positive cross-racial interactions and diversity curricula may offer benefits that counterbalance the negative impact of marginalizing experiences and ultimately advance educational attainment.
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is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research addresses the influences on college access and success of diverse students, particularly Latino, first-generation, and migrant students. Her recent publications include “Organizational Effects on First-Year Students’ Academic Outcomes at a New Public Research University” in the Journal of College Student Retention
(2009) and “Diversity Within: Latino College Choice and Ethnic Comparisons” in Racism in Post-Race America: New Theories, New Directions
(with P. McDonough, M. Ceja, and D. Solorzano; edited by C. Gallagher, 2008). She is also a coeditor of a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education
entitled “Actualizing P−20 School-University Collaboration: Moving from Theory to Practice in a Partnership Context.”