Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


This study explores and identifies factors that contribute to Latino students’ enrollment and persistence in the first two years of a 2+2+2 program (high school – community college – university). As community college leaders attempt to reach the fastest growing, youngest minority group in the United States (Passel, Cohn, & Lopez, 2011), questions emerge on how to create and implement an effective high school to college bridge program. The research focused on discovering insights and gaining understanding from the perspectives of Latino students participating in the high school years of a 2+2+2 bridge program. This qualitative inquiry situated in the interpretive paradigm used a case study approach to identify effective factors appropriate for this type of bridge program.

Seven high school participants were selected through a process of purposeful sampling, based on their completion of the high school years in a 2+2+2 bridge program. Parental consent was obtained. The principal instruments for data collection included face-to-face semi-structured interviews, a research journal, and field notes. Analysis of the data and information involved categorizing, coding, memoing, and theming triangulated from the multiple data sources.

The findings from study participants revealed that six integral elements are needed for a successful program that supports high school to community college persistence for Latino students enrolled in a 2+2+2 bridge program. These six elements are: 1) keep the cost negligible or nothing for students and parents; 2) decide what courses to teach in the program and align these specific high school curricula with the community college credit courses; 3) start the student involvement with the program from the post-freshman summer, to establish student engagement with college and involve their parents from the beginning of the experience; 4) identify a high school teacher as a “champion” for the students and the program; 5) have community college faculty teach all the program courses; and 6) hold classes on the community college campus. The King 2+2 bridge model to support high school to community college persistence for Latino Students is presented to assist community college and high school leaders in developing and implementing a successful dual credit bridge program for this student population.