Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Nancy Huante-Tzintzun

First Committee Member

Laura Hallberg

Second Committee Member

Pete Benitti

Third Committee Member

Richard Ramírez


California Community Colleges (CCC) are the largest post-secondary higher education systems in the nation, with an enrollment of over 2 million at a given year. They are also the most affordable and accessible for students after completing K-12 education. With California having the largest Latinx residents (39%), they overwhelmingly makeup 45% of the student population enrolled in CCC. Although Latinx students are pursuing higher education and enrolling in high numbers in CCC’s, they still fall short when it comes to student success outcomes, particularly transfer, when compared with their peers. Only 10 % of Latinx students transfer in two years, 16% in four years, and 32 % in six years. This number becomes more alarming when only analyzing the Latino male student transfer rate, which is less than four percent in two years, seven percent in four years and 16 % in six years.

Aspects of literature attributes the Latinx attainment gap to both institutional and environmental determinants. Institutional determinants include: academic preparedness, the role of faculty, staff, and administration, and faculty diversity. Environmental determinants include: family influences, financial and socioeconomic status, as well as masculinity identity. Given what the literature has provided, this study will look at Latino male students who have indicated progress towards transfer using the Associates Degree for Transfer (ADT). The ADT was established in 2011 and it was meant to create a clearer path for students to navigate the transfer process and end up transferring to a California State University (CSU).

This study employed Merriam’s (206) basic qualitative research methodology to understand the meaning that students have constructed through their college experience and interactions with peers, counselors, faculty, and administrators. A total of 10 participants, all Latino community college males, were part of this investigation. The data collection process included: semi-structured interviews, which were one hour in length, using thematic analysis as well as a color-coded method. The research data was viewed through Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth framework to capture the positive qualities that Latino male students bring to higher education.

The results from this study indicated that Latino male students had a wide range of challenges steaming from environmental to academic challenges. Additionally, findings suggest that many Latino male students are disengaged from campus support services. This may be due to the COVID – 19 pandemic and the services being offered virtually. A third component from the findings suggest that Latino male students need a sense of belonging to the campus. This can be done by establishing a Latino center, male initiative program, greater mentorship, or and designated counselors that can invest as well as dedicate more time in their education. The researcher outlined several recommendations for action in the field of community college practice and for further research.





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