This qualitative, phenomenological study examined the academic and interpersonal validation experiences of four female and four male Latino students who were enrolled in their second- to fifth-year at an HBCU in Texas. Using interviews, campus observations, a questionnaire, and analytic memos, this study sought to understand the role of in- and out-of-class experiences that encouraged Latino students to be active members of the university’s learning community and to overcome obstacles in their adjustment to college. The findings revealed family members, professors, administrators, peers, and off-campus employers were instrumental in offering academic and interpersonal validation. The participants in this study encountered challenges to academic validation if multiple responsibilities limited their ability to interact with their professors. Obstacles to interpersonal validation emerged when family members were unfamiliar with the HBCU campus, when Latino student organizations were unsupported, and when the presence of Latino students and culture was not represented on-campus and online. Implications and recommendations for practice and areas for future research are presented.


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pp. 461-487
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