Immigrant lives and presidential dreams : exploring the experiences of Latino community college presidents Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/g158bk58t

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  • The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences, events, and circumstances that provided Latino educators the opportunity for ascendancy to the presidency of a California community college. This study aimed to recapture the individual experiences of current Latino community college presidents from working class, immigrant family backgrounds as they ascended to the presidency. Through in-depth, conversational interviews, a chronology of their rich personal, social, and cultural experiences was shared and their stories retold with their assistance. A purposive sampling method was used to identify the participants for the study. Four research subjects participated in the study from the estimated twenty-seven community college Chief Executive Officers in California who are of Latino descent. This qualitative study utilized a narrative research design that gives voice, integrity, and authenticity to their experiences. While it was not the intention of this study to compare the experiences of the participants, seven common themes emerged from the narratives: 1) The Powerful Influence of Family; 2) A Sense of Struggle, Overcoming Obstacles, and Resilience; 3) Positive Connections to Schools and Learning; 4) Great Benefits from Quality Mentoring Experiences; 5) Growth from Participation in Leadership Development Programs; 6) An Unusual Commitment and Dedication to Public Service; 7) The Impact of Race, Culture, and Gender on the Presidency. By investigating the experiences, events, and circumstances that provided Latino educators the opportunity for ascendancy to the presidency of a community college, a better understanding of this educational journey emerged and informs educational leaders and practitioners of higher education. This study also wished to inform educational policy, programs, and leadership practices that identify, prepare, and increase the number of underrepresented community college presidents, especially Latinos and others who derive from ethnic minority and working class, immigrant communities.
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