Date of Conferral







Patricia Brewer


While the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing in both the United States and higher education enrollment, the gap in degree attainment for Hispanic students is not closing at the same rate. Degree completion provides Hispanics the opportunity to secure jobs that require skills learned in higher education and, in turn, can increase their socioeconomic status. Hispanic graduates’ perspectives on the experiences that contributed to community college degree completion is the focus of this basic qualitative study. Tinto’s theory of student departure was used for the conceptual framework. The two research questions that guided the study were what community college experiences Hispanic graduates believe supported their degree completions and what experiences outside the community college Hispanic graduates believe contributed to degree completion. A basic qualitative study was used to gather data directly from a sample consisting of 10 participants who had completed an associate degree within the last year and who self-identified as Hispanic. Transcripts were analyzed using open coding to determine common themes. Six themes resulted from data analysis: sustained availability of faculty and advisors and staff, access to community college resources, value of education, family, intrinsic motivation and organization, and networking. By identifying experiences that contributed to Hispanic graduates’ community college degree completions, results of this study may help community college leaders and faculty address policy and programs to effect positive social change through increased Hispanic college completion and improved employment opportunities.