Date of Award

Winter 2-23-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jeneane Prince

Second Advisor

Dr. Philip Pendley

Third Advisor

Dr. Maria C. Ayon


Research on second-generation Mexican American males who attain a doctoral degree is limited. Often, the data presented clusters Mexican Americans under the Latina/o or Hispanic ethnic group, focuses on factors that hindered educational attainment or details Latino male experiences in the context of their Latina female counterparts. Mexican-Americans are the largest subgroup of this ethnic group yet little is known about their post-secondary educational experiences. Rather than focusing on barriers, this study concentrated on the factors that influenced eight Mexican American males from California who attained their doctorates from a doctoral-granting university within California.

Arguably, the self-efficacious men of this study believed in their academic prowess, but found ability was not enough. Numerous other strategies were needed to help facilitate degree attainment: 1) Being goal-oriented served as the central cause to remain relentless; 2) Interaction with various types of mentorship which came from all aspects of life (academic, home, work); 3) Involvement from a culturally aligned dissertation chair; 4) Surrounding oneself with an inner circle of family and friends and academic peers; and 5) Viewing student loans as an investment that facilitated future aspirations and not as an obstacle. These factors didn’t clash against one another; rather, they complemented each other by providing different types of encouragement, support and direction at different times throughout their ascent. However, having a culturally aligned dissertation chair was viewed as the most critical factor toward degree attainment.