Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Second Advisor

Susan Katz

Third Advisor

Sarah Capitelli


In 2014, Latina/o children comprise over 50% of the California K-12 student population. The recently changing demographics are not problematic; rather, the problems that inspired this study include a legacy of inadequate education (under-education) and the lack of support of Latina/o students throughout the P-20 educational system (preschool through graduate school). This qualitative study explores the experiences of nine Mexican American women who share at least four past experiences in common: 1) immigration to the United States from México, 2) experience learning English as a new language, 3) attainment of a baccalaureate degree, and 4) enrollment in a post-baccalaureate (graduate school) program. Data was gathered through individual narrative testimonios of personal and academic experiences. Data collection also included a focus group discussion (plática). Participants shared and reflected on the ways in which their families, individual educators, student support programs, personal characteristics, and experiential/lived experiences contributed to their academic success. To honor the participants' lived experiences, complete testimonios are included. The findings of this study parallel and build on Yosso's (2005) model of community cultural wealth, including aspirational, familial, and resistant forms of community cultural capital. The participants make eleven recommendations for current and future educators.

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