Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Curriculum

First Reader/Committee Chair

Jay Fiene


At this time, the Latinx population is the fastest-growing population in the United States. Latinas account for one in five women in the United States, and by 2060 Latinas will likely make up one-third of the nation’s females. Education is the foundation for both personal and economic well-being, especially as the job market continues to demand higher levels of educational attainment. The Latinx population continues to make up a large portion of the workforce. Latinas’ attendance and admission rates at the graduate level are low. Studies have found that Latinas have obtained the lowest percentage of graduate degrees compared to all women of other non-Latinx racial groups collectively. Vital to sustained economic growth for individuals and the overall U.S. economy is to understand how to best support these women and their academic careers.

The purpose of this mixed-methods validation study is to examine how to best provide graduate school awareness for the aforementioned population at a four-year Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Southern California. By first conducting a quantitative survey, data was obtained from Latinas at this particular institution with respect to graduate school awareness. If they are aware of graduate school, if they are aware of where they can attend graduate school, if they are aware of the cost of graduate school, and if graduate school is part of their academic goal, why or why not. The second portion of the study was in the form of interviews, where Latinas will be provided with a platform to tell their stories. These stories were from four sample populations: in their undergraduate degree, in graduate school, post-college without a graduate degree, and post-college with a graduate degree.