Exploring cultural differences in career-related variables is critical as an individual’s background is hypothesized to play a pivotal role in her or his career development. (Miller & Brown, 2005) Individual variable such as U.S. acculturation, resident status, capacity of english will all have an effect on the educational and career development chances and opportunities. (Davidson-Aviles and Montero 2004/2005 p. 97) Latinos have been found to have been influenced by certain cultural characteristics in regards to career decision making. A key cultural value often associated with Latina/o college students is familismo, which is defined as a strong identification and attachment to one’s primary relations, such as family and peers, that is expressed by feelings and behaviors that reflect loyalty and solidarity to one’s primary relations (Fuligni & Pedersen, 2002). respecto, compadrismo, extended friendship roles (Davidson-Aviles and Montero 2004/2005). Personalismo, hesitancy to engage with people with whom they do not know. Caballerismo, Marianismo, feminine ideal of putting family ahead of personal goals.
For many Latino men, degree completion represents an opportunity to not only bring honor and pride to the family, but also the ability to provide financial support (Campa, 2010; Hernandez, 2000; Zell, 2010). However, these gender roles may also interfere with academic success as the importance of providing for family can often conflict with the financial demands of college.
Empowerment model , Cummins (1989), assumes that career development outcomes and related school performance are affected by relations with dominant social group, with school/local community and relationship with faculty/counselors. Understanding the role of environment suggests that systemic interventions are a crucial point of brinkmanship in an effective positive intervention or program for Latinos. Including interventions that target majority group culture such as white student population or faculty and staff.
Career Exploration in the Population
Research into career decision making amongst Mexican-Americans show a consistency with the themes considered to be predictive of how successful the students will be in making informed decisions. Leal-Muniz and Constatine (2005) identify three major themes that will be focused on. The themes can be identified as: 1. real and perceived barriers, 2. adherence to career myths and stereotypes, parental involvement and encouragement. A workshop aimed at career exploration can address these themes through a card-sort skill/interest exploration activity, discussion of career stereotypes and a way to involve the child - parent interaction in a way that encourages the student towards career exploration.
Barriers for the Mexican-American student are wide ranging. Mexican-Americans are one of the fastest growing and the largest ethnic population in the U.S., but remain as one of the lowest in high school graduation rates at...