Latinas in Higher Education Doctoral Programs at Public Institutions in Texas: Persistence and Validation



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This dissertation examined the experiences of Latina doctoral students in higher education administration programs at five public institutions in Texas. Extant literature has demonstrated that there is a limited number of Latinas represented in doctoral programs. Latinas are also underrepresented in higher education administration doctoral programs in Texas. To understand the needs and experiences of these students, 13 Latina students who had demonstrated success as doctoral candidates in the dissertation phase of their higher education administration programs or had recently graduated were participants in this study to examine their experiences as they persisted through their programs.

This study utilized basic qualitative inquiry. Data collection methods included two phases of interviews. Data transcriptions were carefully read and analyzed using constructivist grounded theory, as it provided a step-by-step method for interpreting the data. Nine broad categories emerged in the findings: pursuit of the doctorate, motivation, program choice, commitment to service, persistence to complete the doctorate, social support, factors of stress, coping skills, and milestones. Utilizing Strauss and Corbin?s paradigmatic schema, a conceptual model was developed with the phenomenon that was determined to be the persistence to complete the doctorate. All participants described factors that contributed to or inhibited their abilities to persist.