Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Curriculum

First Reader/Committee Chair

Enrique Murillo, Jr.


Characteristics of who today’s college student is has drastically changed over the years with more students over age 25, may have dependents, employed full-time, attending school part time and likely a parent. These students are known as post-traditional students who make up 85% of undergraduates nationwide. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of Latina students, who are mothers, and have successfully transferred from a community college designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) to a four-year public higher education institution also designated as an HSI. Data was collected from eleven participants who shared their experiences of an intersecting identity as mother and student through in-depth qualitative interviews. Through an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), there were five key findings; 1) Motherhood: Being the Example for Future Generations, 2) The Enrollment Cycle: Enrollment and Re-enrollment, 3) Health: Physical, Mental & Emotional Wellbeing, 4) Learning in a Pandemic and 5) Embracing Cultural Heritage. This study informs high education leaders and practitioners on how to best support this growing student population.