Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Pipeline dreams: Latina/o community college students pushed out of the transfer path
by Salas, Susan, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 216; 3708287
Abstract (Summary)

Latinas/os represent the largest ethnic group in California and are under-represented in higher education. Latina/o student college completion rates are the lowest of any racial or ethnic group, including Whites. This study used a critical race theoretical lens to explore the experiences of 14 Latina/o community college students who were pushed out of the transfer path. Storytelling served as the foundation of this study to understand and give voice to Latina/o students' transfer path experiences. Interview data from all participants were analyzed to extract codes and develop themes within the stories. Demographic surveys were evaluated to identify student characteristics.

Findings revealed that Latina/o students were pushed out of the transfer path at four critical points: Students were pushed out as they found themselves on academic or progress probation, resulting in conditional financial aid suspensions. Some students became discouraged as they figured out the amount of courses necessary to become transfer ready. Other students attempted to transition to transferable coursework, but they were unable to pass developmental math courses. Students also reported being pushed out as they learned about the immense amount of transfer requirements, program options, and costs, which created transfer information paralysis.

Latina/o students reported feeling emotional relief after being pushed out of the transfer pathway. Earning an associate's degree or certificate was an achievable goal and students felt a sense of academic accomplishment. Students also believed that an associate's degree was a "stepping stone" on their journey through the educational pipeline.

Students noted race, class, and gender stereotyped experiences that adversely affected their transfer path experiences. Negative perceptions about their race impacted their academic performance. Erratic and limited resources-including suspension from financial aid-proved harmful to their ability to remain on the transfer path. Gender role expectations obstructed Latina women and propelled Latino men on the transfer pathway.

The findings suggest that Latina/o students were disadvantaged by community college policies and procedures. Yet, they remained committed to their educational goals. Further investigation of Latina/o student community college experiences is necessary to develop policies, procedures, and practices that will serve to strengthen their educational pathways.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perez Huber, Lindsay
Commitee: Mosqueda, Cynthia, Vega, William M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Educational leadership, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Community college, Latina/o, Student transfer, Transfer critical points
Publication Number: 3708287
ISBN: 978-1-321-83374-4
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