Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Leadership Studies


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Desiree Zerquera

Second Advisor

Genevieve Negron-Gonzales

Third Advisor

Rosa Jimenez


This study explores the institutional logics that student affairs middle managers employ to facilitate student engagement programs and resources intended for more diverse student populations. While the positive effects of student involvement and student engagement are both widely documented, disparities between White students and students of color in their rates of engagement continue to illustrate that the effects of student engagement opportunities as forms of high impact practices are dependent upon the racial and ethnic background of students. Higher education institutions faced with the widening divide between low-income students of color in their retention, degree attainment, and engagement rates not only have an opportunity but a responsibility to address these gaps to support their students fully. Within these contexts, student affairs middle managers, as institutional actors, must contend with the institutional logics, inclusive of structures, policies, and practices, that affect and determine their ability to address student engagement needs through their specific student affairs engagement programs, resources, and opportunities. Inherent to their roles within the institutional structures they find themselves in, these institutional actors have an opportunity and a responsibility to enhance the student engagement experiences of low-income students of color in college through their specific student affairs focus and resulting engagement offerings. This study explores how student affairs middle managers navigate, resist, or create new institutional logics in the delivery of student engagement for students of color within their institutional structure and dominant logics that inform the field of student affairs.