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Education, School of, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

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Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

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Journal or Book Title

Journal of Diversity in Higher Education




Ethnic studies programs have recently been the target of positive and negative scrutiny in both the K-12 system and in 4-year institutions. There is a critical disconnect in the research on ethnic studies in community colleges, which serve a large proportion of racially minoritized students. Moreover, studies tend ignore how ethnic studies courses impact faculty. Using a case study approach, this study focuses on the activist actions and emotional labor (Gonzales & Ayers, 2018) of community college faculty to sustain Mexican American Studies programs on their campuses across Texas. We frame these efforts as a type of race-related service (Baez, 2000), laden with significant emotional labor, that faculty members take up to redefine the whitestream space of the college (Urrieta, 2009) and to help the college better reflect its student population. Attention is paid to the ways these faculty work within the system to advocate for programs that reflect the students of color who attend these colleges, often leaving them exhausted with racial battle fatigue (Smith, 2004). Further research should consider how ethnic studies courses provide meaningful curricular experiences to students who enroll in these courses while also supporting the faculty who execute these impactful teaching and learning experiences.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Doran, Erin E., and Paul S. Hengesteg. "Advocating for Mexican American studies in whitestream community colleges: A focus on faculty efforts." Journal of Diversity in Higher Education (2019). DOI: 10.1037/dhe0000157. Posted with permission.

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Published Version