School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Kenneth Tierce


Mattering, Latino Graduation, Persistence to Graduation, Marginalization, Sense of Belonging in School, Teacher Influence


Education | Educational Methods


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand how the mattering experience of Latino students impacts their persistence to high school graduation. The study was aimed to establish a greater awareness of how the mattering experience impacts student success. The central research question was, How does the mattering experience impact Latino student persistence to high school graduation? This transcendental phenomenological study included a purposeful sample of 11 high school graduates within Mannaton County, Pennsylvania. Data collection and analysis included interviews, a focus group, and journal documents. Data analysis included data coding in order to establish themes. Additionally, direct interpretation, narratives, and tables are part of the analysis. Reporting of information was through methods which included horizonalization, clustering, and textural descriptions. The study revealed four major themes for Latino high school graduates including the impact of mattering, feelings of importance, feelings of marginalization, and persistence to graduation. The impact of mattering on the persistence to graduation for Latino high school students is affirming and attributes connections with school staff, communal motivations, feelings of belonging, school satisfaction, resiliency, translanguaging, anti-racism, home and community influence, and educator guidance as influences to school success. The implications of this study are that when individuals experience mattering and are in reciprocal relationships with others they experience a greater consciousness of perceived importance in their school environment. Findings from this transcendental phenomenological study indicated the reciprocal relationship of mattering had a positive impact on Latino high school student persistence to graduation.