Exploring the cultural production of the transfer receptive culture by Latina/o/x community college transfer students at a predominantly White institution in Texas
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In Texas, 42% of Latina/o/x undergraduate students enroll in community colleges. Unfortunately, only 20% of Latina/o/x students who begin their post-secondary education at a Texas community college, transfer to a four-year college or university after six-years (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2016). These numbers describe an urgent need for higher education scholars, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to examine the transfer conditions for Latina/o/x community college students in Texas. Using a case study methodology at Transfer Student University, including semi-structures interviews and photo elicitation, this study explored how Latina/o/x community college transfer students exerted their community cultural wealth (CCW) (Yosso, 2005) to navigate and engage in the cultural production (Levinston & Holland, 1996) of the transfer receptive culture (TRC) (Jain, Herrera, Bernal, & Solórzano, 2011), at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) in Texas. For this study, a total of eighteen participants were interviewed, including ten Latina/o/x students and four administrators, two faculty, and two academic advisors. A Transfer receptive culture refers to how a four-year institution engages prospective community college transfer students in navigating and negotiating the community college, in part by ensuring that students take the appropriate coursework, apply, enroll, and successfully earn a baccalaureate degree (Jain et al., 2011). Findings from this study revealed that even though Transfer Student University has transfer policies and practices set in place to support community college transfer students, these policies and practices are not culturally responsive to meet the specific needs of Latina/o/x transfer students. This study uniquely contributes to the field of higher education in at least three ways: First, it explores the transfer receptive culture for Latina/o/x community college transfer students at a PWI. Secondly, it considers the spatial transfer receptive culture for Latina/o/x community college transfer students at a PWI. Finally, it investigates how Latina/o/x community college transfer students apply their CCW to culturally produce the TRC at a PWI.