Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Angela Clark-Taylor, Ph.D.

Committee Members

George Hamilton, Ed.D.

Adriana Ruiz Alvardo, Ph.D.


higher education, Chicanas/Latinas, Latino critical race theory, feminist theory, counter narrative


Educational Leadership


Existing research illustrates that although Latinos make up the largest ethnic minority group in the country, Latinos continue to have the lowest college degree attainment rates (Ramirez, 2014). Despite the increasing rates of high school graduation rate, there remains a large educational achievement gap between Latinos and their white and Asian counterparts (Perez Huber, Malagon, Ramirez, Camargo Gonzalez, Jimenez & Velez, 2015). As we see the increase of the Latino population, it is important to highlight the disparities between Latina and Latino students. Although female students over exceed in enrollment and retention numbers across K-12 and higher education over their male counterparts, they continue to graduate and attain degrees at a lower rate (Perez Huber, Velez, & Solorzano, 2014).

This study serves to highlight the experiences first-generation Chicanas/Latinas have within higher education, their navigation and negotiation within academia, their personal sectors as that of self-wellness and family, and the barriers they face within higher education and their personal identities. The research used a qualitative counter-narrative case study inquiry approach to interview, observe and analyze the experiences of first-generation Chicanas/Latinas in higher education. Latino Critical Race (LaCrit) (Solorzano & Yosso, 2001), Chicana Feminist Theory (Moraga & Anzaldua, 1983; Delgado Bernal & Elenes, 2011), and Critical Consciousness (Freire, 2007) guide the theoretical framework of the study. Therefore, this study will add to the existing literature by conducting counter-narrative testimonios of five muxeres who illustrated their pathways in higher education while maintaining their various identities.


© 2018 Yolanda Stephanie De Loera

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9780438949232