Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Laura Hallberg

First Committee Member

Delores McNair

Second Committee Member

Ines Ruiz-Huston


This qualitative study described four testimonios from Chicanas who have successfully completed a doctorate in education degree, both Ph.D. and Ed.D. The literature reviewed three important areas of study. The first is a review of the systemic challenges that Chicanas must hurdle; cheap labor, segregation of schools and neighborhoods, being silenced through English-only education, and deficit thinking. The second area of review focused on ways that Chicanas create strategies for success to overcome these challenges. The third was a review of the theoretical literature through a distinctly and relevant Chicana feminist lens.

Chicanas’ strategies for success were collected as testimonios. These lived stories are shared using a narrative approach and were analyzed through a Chicana feminist lens, allowing the researcher to connect with indigenous roots. Findings include cultural intuition, reflexión, máscaras, nepantla, and La Virgen de Guadalupe as themes that enable an understanding of the strategies used by these successful women. This study sought to understand how gender and race impact graduate scholarship among a unique population and adds to the body of knowledge on doctoral education and Latina (specifically Chicana) education in particular.