Department of Educational Administration



Elvira J. Abrica

Deryl K. Hatch-Tocaimaza

Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Community College Journal of Research and Practice (2019)

doi 10.1080/10668926.2019.1567405


Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Used by permission.


In this study, we use a narrative inquiry approach to present the stories of two Latino males attending community colleges in the Great Plains region of the United States that includes the Dakotas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa, popularly referred to as “flyover states.” The purpose of this inquiry, part of a larger study in an area of the United States that goes largely understudied in research on immigrants in community colleges, was to examine the ways in which race and immigrant status inform career and educational aspirations in the lives of Latino males. After presenting narratives of the two students, we highlight ways in which their stories showed their meaning making around their social identities, how their aspirations were informed by these social identity statuses, and describe how their experiences were shaped by the Great Plains context. Findings and implications are discussed.