Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers


Despite the latest substantial increase in Hispanic/Latino(a) students enrollment in Higher Education institutions, more than 20% since 1993 at two-year and four-year colleges and universities and an increased enrollment of 4.7% in community colleges during a one-year period (1996--1997), issues of retention, transfer, and graduation are still the main focus of educational researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. Iowa community colleges have followed similar enrollment trends in the last decade or so when considering the growth of nontraditional students (Hispanic/Latino(a)s among them) entering such two-year institutions. As any other ethnic minority student group, Hispanic/Latino(a) students face multiple challenges to succeed in their college education and community colleges retention, graduation and transfer are the key areas to inquiry in order to understand the complexity of these educational experiences.;In order to fully understand the nature and dynamics of Hispanic/Latino(a) students' collegiate experience while enrolled in and attending Iowa community colleges, the study was designed to assess: (1) what Hispanic/Latino(a) students experience in their education; (2) the extent they are involved in their learning and developmental pursuits; (3) if there are validating environments fostering their academic and social integration; and (4) how their transfer motivations are enhanced.;Based on the Quality of Effort concept developed by Pace (1984) and the research findings of Rendon's (1996) study of Hispanic community college students, the present study used the mix method approach which utilizes both the quantitative and qualitative framework. A randomly selected sample of Hispanic students (N = 174) was drawn from a set of listings of community colleges throughout the state of Iowa during the 1995 and 1996 academic years. For the quantitative phase of the study, the Community College Student Experience Questionnaire (CCSEQ) was administered to participants to assess such experiences as learning, quality of effort, college environment, and interactions in their classroom and out of the classroom. To complement the first part of the study, a qualitative approach was utilized by designing and conducting focus group sessions to determine further aspects and meaningful themes in community college experiences of Iowa Hispanic students by capturing the students' perceptions in three particular educational themes: Involvement, Validating Environments, and Transfer Intentions and Aspirations.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Jaime Hernandez Mijangos



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File Size

174 pages