This work represents the completion of a dream. I would like to first of all, thank God, Our Lord for giving me the support, encouragement and all His blessings during this long process. Without His inspirations, I could not be able to end my doctoral program.
My deepest thanks go to my advisor, Dr. Kenneth J. Travers, an extraordinary man, so knowledgeable, helpful, patience, and committed. Without his help this work could not be possible. My sincere appreciation and special thanks go to my committee members: Dr. Bridget Arvold, Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez, and Dr. Jim Levin. Many thanks for your interest in my work and invaluable assistance.
To my former teachers, professors and colleagues in Puerto Rico who encouraged me to continue my professional development. Special thanks go to Dr. María S. Santiago, Prof. Israel Vargas, and Prof. Héctor W. Colón-Rosa for their interests in my research and guidance.
Special thanks also need to be expressed to many people of the Ponce Campus of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. My special gratitude to the administration, faculty and counselors for allowing me carries out my project in your institution. Thanks so much to Dr. Ray Petty and all the people from the Office of Planning and Development who helped me in very special ways. Also, my sincere appreciation and eternal gratitude to all the students who participated in this study, particularly thanks to Christian Cay for teaching me a lot of computers features.
To many friends in Ponce and Champaign who motivated me to continue toward the completion of this goal. Special thanks to Kenneth and Alexis Benson and to Paul and Yaira, who opened the doors of their home in multiple occasions for me.
My special gratitude to the church in Ponce, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr. Galán, and all the people, for the constant prayers that I know they offered for me.
Finally, and most important, an eternal gratitude for each member of my entire family: Papi, Mami, Felo, Marinés and my brother in-law, Thomas; to Papá and the long list of cousins, uncles, aunts, godsons, and goddaughter. Although, I certainly know that Mamá is now enjoying the presence of God in Heaven, I also thank her in spirit for all the blessings that always gave to me. Thanks for all your prayers, sacrifices and encouragement. The success of this work is all yours.