Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Athena I. Perrakis, PhD; Paula A. Cordeiro, EdD; Cheryl A. Getz, EdD


administration, California, Catholic education, Catholic universities, community colleges, higher education, men, Mexican Americans, minority & ethnic groups, qualitative, transfer students


California's community colleges and public and private universities must collaborate to address the Tidal Wave II student enrollment surge composed mostly of Hispanic/Latinos and Asian students in order to meet the educational needs of community college transfer students (CCTSs). Avoiding the issue will result in continued neglect of CCTS within public and private institutions; possible outcomes include delayed graduation and potential attrition of at-risk students. Using Rendón's (1994) theory of student validation as the theoretical framework, this qualitative study uncovered the validating and other university experiences of male Mexican American CCTSs. This qualitative study included individual interviews of six CCT students, six CCT alumni, and nine university administrators within the divisions of student and academic affairs from two respective Catholic universities in southern California. The results of the study show that validation of CCTS by university personnel contributed to and influenced the perceptions of CCTSs about their overall university experiences. Also, the data suggest that words of encouragement told to students by university personnel help students perceive that the university cares about their success. The findings of the study show that students who had a positive university experience also perceived the staff and administration as caring for the success of students, helpful to students, and providing for individualized and personal attention. These results study suggest that Catholic four-year universities may be a good fit for Mexican American CCTSs, but only when university personnel proactively engages in validating this special student population. Faculty validation also emerged as a source of student validation and contributor to their satisfaction with the university. CCTS in the study also attributed the university's religious affiliation and international student population as factors that helped to enhance their university experiences.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access