Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Christopher B. Newman, Ph.D.; Lea A. Hubbard, Ph.D.; Sarina Chugani Molina, Ed.D.


Community College, English as a Second Language, Internationally Responsive Pedagogy, Leadership, Social Identity Theory, TESOL Community of Practice


Annually, between 70 percent and 90 percent of California community college students, who are typically first generation college students, low income, and from underrepresented groups, are labeled basic skills students (BSS) and placed into pre-collegiate coursework. Only about 25 percent of these students ever complete their associate’s degree or transfer to a bachelor-granting institution. Additionally, many community college instructors may lack the pedagogical expertise to assist BSS. Even though training is seen as key to the success of BSS, a master’s degree, not teacher training, is the requirement for instructor employment. As a result, there is a potential gap between the assistance BSS need and the support instructors are able to provide.Consequently, this study examined the professional development of community college faculty and their ability to serve the diverse population of students attending community colleges. Secondly, this study intended to determine what benefits, if any, there were to having training in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) since many students whose first language is not English attempt to take courses in English. A qualitative case study was conducted. Participants included five instructors within the San Diego Community College District who had TESOL training and five who did not. Participants were observed in non-English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and then interviewed to investigate whether pedagogical training in TESOL influenced their (1) awareness of student need, (2) classroom practices, and (3) self-perceptions. The findings of this study suggest TESOL training may indeed impact instructors, but it is not the only influence on their perceptions and practice. In fact, it may be a community aspect that is influential. As a consequence, it is necessary to investigate what combination of professional development activities potentially best support instructors and students within the community college system, including the creation of two new faculty support systems: a TESOL community of practice and internationally responsive pedagogy.

Document Type

Dissertation: USD Users Only


Leadership Studies