Dissertation: "The Desire to Persist: Voices of First Generation Latino Community College Students"
As a counselor at Hartnell College in Salinas, Nancy Reyes works with students who are often overlooked or marginalized in education, particularly low-income, Latino students from farmworker families. Being from this demographic herself, she wanted to explore what causes these students to depart from community college and was drawn to SF State's doctor of education in educational leadership program because of the University's focus on social justice and equity.
Her dissertation, "The Desire to Persist: Voices of First Generation Latino Community College Students," found that many of these students experience feelings of invalidation, causing them to withdraw from school, and offers ways that colleges can create a welcoming atmosphere where students are validated, persist and achieve their educational goals.
A native and longtime resident of California's Central Coast region, Reyes plans to present the results of her dissertation to leaders at Hartnell College and other organizations where she works as a counselor, in order to help others like her to follow her path and continue their education.