Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Mary Brown


It is not known why Latina community college administrators are disproportionally underrepresented in higher education. Of all full-time faculty in postsecondary institutions, 3% are Hispanic females; 1% or less of full-time professors are Hispanic females, and 3% are full-time assistant professors. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the experiences of Latina community college administrators in their journey as college students and how these experiences informed their understanding of the academic and student support systems that either hinder or support Latinas. Phinney’s theory of racial and ethnic development was the theoretical foundation for the study. The research questions focused on the perceived main factors of the participants’ barriers and facilitators in the pursuit of enrollment and college completion. A narrative inquiry approach in the form of testimonios was used. Participants were purposively selected and included nine Latina administrators from county community colleges. Data were collected using a researcher-developed interview guide to conduct face-to-face or Zoom interviews. The data were coded and analyzed for themes and patterns using the NVivo software. Results indicated (a) staff and faculty relations, (b) family, (c) economic fitness, (d) sense of belonging, and (e) self-efficacy and motivation facilitated college completion. College administrators, educational leaders, and policy makers may benefit from the results of this study by developing programs and services to facilitate Latina students’ ability to successfully complete their community college education leading to positive social change.