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Examining the Intersectionality of Race and Gender: A Narrative Study of Women of Color in Mid-Level Leadership Positions at Texas Community Colleges

Sean Stewart, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


One of the missions of the community colleges across the country is to welcome and champion diversity, whether that be for its student body or the faculty and staff. Community colleges are increasingly trying to mirror the diversity of their faculty and staff to that of the student body. However, one area where the community college lacks diversity is administration, specifically senior-level administration. As of 2017, 36% of associate college presidents were women and 20% were minorities. While these numbers are encouraging, the American Council on Education argues since experience at the presidential level is prioritized in searches for new presidents, this often slants the pool towards white males and can hinder efforts to diversify the presidency (ACE, 2017). At the completion of this dissertation in 2020, of the 50 community colleges districts in the state of Texas, there are no Black female presidents and only a handful of Latinx female presidents. The road to the presidency in the community college starts with mid-level leadership such as being a department chair, dean, or program manager. While there is research that examines those few Women of Color (WoC) who are in the presidency in community college, there is little research that shows the experience WoC have in mid-level leadership positions that can influence their future in leadership. This qualitative study analyzed how race, gender, and the intersection of race and gender influenced the experiences WoC have in mid-level leadership positions in Texas community colleges through the use of their narratives. This narrative inquiry will be guided by critical race theory and critical race feminism to help analyze the experiences WoC have, how these experiences can influence their career goals, their approach in current leadership goals, as well as their approach to leadership in future goals.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Community college education|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Stewart, Sean, "Examining the Intersectionality of Race and Gender: A Narrative Study of Women of Color in Mid-Level Leadership Positions at Texas Community Colleges" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI27837879.