Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Nancy Acevedo-Gil


The mission of community colleges is to create affordable pathways for students to enter into the workforce or transfer into 4-year universities (Brint & Karabel, 1989; Kisker et al., 2016). However, community colleges have not been successful in efforts to assist Students of Color in completing an associate degree or transferring (Shapiro et al., 2017). Therefore, efforts have been made to increase the number Faculty of Color in community colleges as they are influential in student success (Rodriguez, 2015) but Faculty of Color experience systematic oppression in higher education (Pittman, 2010). Faculty of Color in rural community colleges experience discrimination but do not want to share their concerns in fear of retribution in the conservative environment (Han & Leonard, 2016; Han et al., 2018).

This study explored the experiences of Faculty of Color in rural community colleges as they transitioned from adjunct roles into tenure track or tenured positions. An interpretivist phenomenological study using semi structured interviews was conducted on ten participants across three rural California Community Colleges.

The findings from this study show that the participants had negative experiences in obtaining full-time employment in rural community colleges. However, they were able to obtain more experience and education during their pursuit of a tenured position. In addition, the participants saw themselves as agents of change in creating a more positive experience for the Students of Color.