Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership and Curriculum

First Reader/Committee Chair

Murillo, Enrique

Abstract

Currently, Latinas are the fastest growing population in the United States and comprise one-fifth of the female population (Roach, 2015). It is estimated that by the year 2060 Latinas will make up one-third of the females in the US (Roach, 2015). Gandara (2015) suggests there are several potential barriers that are holding back Latinas from academic and professional success. There are several critical factors that could explain why Latinas are underachieving: family obligations, work obligations, affordability, systemic barriers, lack of information and lack of role models and mentors (Espinoza, 2015, Gandara, 2008; Nunez & Murakami-Ramalho, 2012). This narrative inquiry examined the personal and professional lived experiences of Latina administrative leaders in higher education to gain a deeper understanding of how they navigated their educational and leadership trajectories. The primary conclusion of this study is the need to continue diversifying leadership roles in higher education. The participants in this study support previous findings that suggest that their firsthand experience and their support networks serve as catalysts along their educational and leadership trajectories (Espinoza, 2015; Gándara, 2015; González, 2007). In addition, their stories can provide critical information to not only serve the Latina student population and other under-served students in higher education, but can also help propel and influence women in non-leadership roles to new heights.