Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Stacy Wahl


The purpose of this single case study was to understand the perceptions of Latino Spanish-speaking English learners on the efficacy of developmental education services at a western United States community college. The conceptual frameworks used in the investigation included critical theory related to human emancipation, social learning theory aligned to second language acquisition, and contemporary adult learning theories. The goal of the investigation was to understand how students used and perceived the developmental education services to transition from Spanish language instruction to English coursework. Research questions focused on how the developmental education services contributed to the successful completion of the child development practicum for Latino Spanish-speaking English learners. The primary data collection method was in-depth individual interviews of a purposeful sample of 9 successful students. Data were transcribed, coded, and themes were developed based on the components of the conceptual frameworks. Findings indicated that participants relied on Spanish instruction for comprehensible context, but needed consistent education support services and information from a culturally responsive institution in a language they understood. The results prompted the development of a multicultural introduction to college course designed to facilitate access to developmental education services. Implications for social change include developing curriculum to inform Spanish-speaking English learners in the community college system and remediating the shortage of qualified Latino preschool teachers in the community, thereby providing positive role models for young Latino children.