Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Mary Christopher

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Ana Gomez de Torres

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Jeff Cranmore


The problem that provoked this research is the incessant, declining retention, completion, and transfer rates among English-speaking, first-generation Hispanic and Latino students. Educational institutions continue to increase services, improve academic programs, enhance curriculum design, integrate technology, and consider alternative career paths to success with marginal to no improvement. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived benefits of English-speaking, first-generation Hispanic and Latino students who participated in a career course instructed by a career professional compared to a course instructed by an academic adjunct faculty member. Developing one’s career remains a vital aspect of the college experience, and occupational success and academic excellence should symbolize a paralleled and interconnected journey. This qualitative case study approach deepened meaning, enhanced insight, and increased awareness and understanding of the phenomenon, and represented the most unbiased approach, limiting assumptions, generalizations, or presuppositions. I investigated this phenomenon by interviewing academic adjunct faculty members and career professionals with experience instructing English-speaking, first-generation Hispanic or Latino students attending a community college in Northcentral Arkansas. The study revealed that participants held no preferences with who leads career courses. Both groups acknowledged having favorable career conversations with students and expressed the positive impact Holland’s theory of personality types bears on students seeking career identity. Academic adjunct faculty tend to have goal-oriented conversations with their students, while career professionals have a propensity for career exploration discussions. Significant barriers included family dynamics, culture, language, citizenship status, access to technology, and gender.

Keywords: first-generation, career development, career professional, academic adjunct faculty, career course

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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