Although the number of community college Latina/o students is steadily growing, their completion and transfer rates lag behind other groups. Because the majority of Latina/o students begin their postsecondary education in community colleges only to transfer at very low rates, the long-storied promise of community colleges serving as "democracy's colleges" is more rhetoric than reality. Drawing upon Stanton-Salazar's (2004, 2011) work on the potential roles that institutional agents can play in working against the forces of educational stratification by lending their social capital to minority students, the purpose of this convergent mixed methods research was to examine the differences Latina/o and White potential transfer students report about the ways that faculty have facilitated or impeded their negotiation of the transfer process and the roles institutional agents filled in facilitating students' transfer progress.
The study followed a convergent mixed methods design, whereby 233 potential students completed an original survey concerning their interactions with faculty, and 14 potential transfer students participated in semi-structured interviews concerning their interactions with faculty while negotiating the transfer process. Analysis of the quantitative data collected through the survey revealed that students are generally pleased with their interactions with HCC faculty; and furthermore that Latina/o students rate their interactions with faculty more highly than White students do. From the qualitative data collected through the interviews eight themes emerged, including the importance of community colleges, social capital, developing goals, accepting responsibility for one's decisions, and caring faculty. Three convergences arose from combining the findings of the two separate modes of inquiry: (a) students are generally pleased with HCC faculty; (b) the importance of caring faculty; and (c) faculty serving institutional agents for students.
After the interpretations of these findings were discussed, as well as their implications for policy, theory, practice, and future research, three recommendations for action were offered.
|Advisor:||Gonzalez, Kenneth P.|
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education|
|Keywords:||Community Colleges, Faculty Student Interactions, Latina Students|
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