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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The "other" women: What about the experiences of women faculty of color in community colleges?
by HaMai, Truc, D.Ed., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 256; 3692151
Abstract (Summary)

Critical research on the intersections of gender, race and class on women faculty of color largely addresses the experience of those in 4-year universities. In addition, the available research on community college faculty namely addresses the perceptions of culture and climate by those of White women faculty. To date, the scholarship on the experiences of women faculty of color (WFofC) in community colleges is nearly nonexistent. This study offers in-depth insight into the experiences of WFofC at 2-year institutions, contributing to the emerging body of critical research. Bringing the perspectives of WFofC at 2-year institutions to the forefront validates not only their presence in academe, but also acknowledges and celebrates their work as committed educators.

Semi-structured interviews were collected from 37 participants who represented 11 different community colleges in the urban/suburban regions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties in southern California.

Findings revealed that WFofC experience multiple forms of marginalization, as well as agency. The intersections of gender, race and class manifested themselves in the findings and confirmed that the experiences of WFofC can be unified as a collective minority experience to contrast dominant groups. They are simultaneously diversified because of the unique differences in ethnic identity and lived experience amongst each other.

For many, the institutional culture and climate perceived by WFofC in community colleges validated that it was “chilly” and not as “warm” as those from research findings that sampled White women faculty. The type of the community college district, department culture and status in the faculty hierarchy were factors that influenced their experience of climate. Despite many expressing the culture of their institutions as being “hostile,” these women of color were overwhelmingly satisfied in their faculty work. Their commitment to serving underrepresented students, and sense of responsibility to the community at large, mediated the chilliness.

Recommendations for future research include further analyses of the rich data collected from this study. Recommendations for policy and practice include institutionalizing the hiring of diverse administrators and faculty to reach critical mass. Furthermore, community college leaders should provide formal support for WFofC through ongoing structured mentoring opportunities and faculty learning communities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, John P.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Womens studies, Ethnic studies
Keywords: Class, Critical race theory, Faculty issues, Gender, Intersectionality, Woman of color
Publication Number: 3692151
ISBN: 978-1-321-76319-5
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