Educational Uplift Along the U.S.-Mexico Border: How Students, Families, and Educators Cultivate a College-Going Culture in Contested Terrain
Nydia Sanchez

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of North Texas

Primary Discipline

For students who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, postsecondary educational opportunities are shaped and stimulated by a myriad combination of geographic, socio-economic, political, and cultural forces. Mexican-American and Hispanic families in particular can have little confidence in formal methods of engagement due in part to historically limited access to systems and bureaucracies for immigrants. Thus, these families often consult local, personal, and social networks to help them navigate complex systems, such as education, and accomplish what is needed in their communities.This research follows the everyday struggles and pursuits of a small group of self-identified Mexican-American and Hispanic college students who, together with their families and educators in the area, bring college knowledge, goodwill, and aid to their communities. Specifically, this research qualitatively explores how academic capital is transmitted and co-constructed in informal spaces, and the ripple effect this activity has on the educational uplift of a border-town community. This research adds context and depth to literature regarding theories of academic and social capital formation and non-traditional policies and practices for postsecondary access and success.
About Nydia Sanchez
Nydia Sanchez is a Ph.D. candidate in the higher education program at the University of North Texas. She was born and raised in the border town of Brownsville, TX. Her research explores the social and cultural contexts of postsecondary education for historically marginalized communities, with an emphasis on Latina/o students. During her academic career, she has been recognized as a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation / Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Gates Millennium Scholar, an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Carlos J. Vallejo Research Fellow, and an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) / Ford Foundation Multidisciplinary Graduate Fellow. Nydia received a B.S. in Economics from Texas A&M University and M.S. in Higher Education from the University of North Texas.

Pin It on Pinterest