Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Dennis Haynes

Second Advisor

Dr. Judah Viola

Third Advisor

Dr. Carlton Pickron


The majority of Latina/Latino students enrolling into higher education are doing so through community colleges. Latina/Latino students are not transferring at comparable rates to their peers. This study explored the impact of the MassTransfer program on the transfer success of Latina/Latino students at a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) community college into a 4-year state university in Massachusetts. Twelve students were individually interviewed for this study. Six of the students attend an HSI community college. The remaining six students were enrolled in a Massachusetts state university and had successfully transferred from the HSI in this study. The MassTransfer program encourages degree specific articulation agreements between public community colleges and state universities.

This study was conducted using qualitative research situated in an interpretive paradigm. Laura I. Rendón’s Validation Theory and Latina/Latino Critical Race Theory were utilized to explore Latina/Latino student transfer success. Increasing the diversity of the student body without institutional changes designed to better meet their needs often leads to lower retention rates. Understanding the validating factors that support Latina/Latino transfer and the unique obstacles these students encounter can assist colleges and universities to build targeted retention programs.

This research concluded that the majority of Latina/Latino students interviewed rely on their family members as validating influences outside of the classroom. A majority of the students agreed that Latina/Latino faculty and staff also provided a sense of comfort and ease on the campus. Half of study participants could not take advantage of MassTransfer due to limited program offerings.




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