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ERIC Number: ED514344
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 206
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-9474-1
Discovering Effective Student Equity Practices in California Community Colleges: An Action Research Study
Luster, Pamela T.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Fielding Graduate University
California Community Colleges face unique challenges and opportunities in serving the state's largest new majority students who are also the state's most at-risk students. These students are the primary driver of the new economy, however they arrive at college with significant educational and economic disadvantages (Woodlief, Thomas, & Orozco, 2003). Student equity is a framework enacted by the California State Legislature in 1991 by which colleges are to measure access and success of underrepresented students who seek an education in the higher education system in California. Central to the process is access, persistence, retention, and success in developmental coursework that leads to college-level instruction and equitable transfer rates. To capture current equity practices, I asked the research questions, "What do California Community Colleges identify as effective practices to meet the goals of student equity?" Secondarily, "What challenges do they identify as barriers to meeting those goals?" I gathered data in three ways, utilizing the Mills method of organizing quantitative and qualitative data into dimensions (Mills, 2007). This organizational structure moves data into Examining, Enquiring, and Experiencing, providing a triangulated approach to the questions. This study embodies the notion of action research through the participation of those served by the data. A strong foundation emerged for equity goals by identification of six major themes from the literature review and three minor themes identified in the examining phase. These themes provided a comprehensive framework for equity gains; organizational assessment of equity data, leadership, college mission and vision for equity, professional development focus on curriculum and pedagogy, and student services. Primary challenges to student equity are a lack of resources and lack of organizational supports for equity. The research revealed a deep level of change occurs when colleges employ practices related to these themes collaboratively across campuses. Firmly situated in the responses are the imperative nature of resource alignment with college planning and resource processes, leadership at the highest levels in combination with leadership across all constituent groups, culturally relevant professional development, collaborative curriculum and pedagogy, and robust and comprehensive student services that are highly integrated with instructional practices. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California