Call for Papers: 2017 Special Themed Issue: "Latinx and the Community College: Promoting Pathways to Postsecondary Degrees"

Guest Editors: Edna Martinez, Nancy Acevedo-Gil, & Enrique Murillo, Jr. (California State University, San Bernardino)

Latino/a/x have become the largest student population of color in higher education and represent 25% of community college students nationwide (Fry & López, 2012). When compared to Whites, Latino/a/x are more likely to choose a community college, even after controlling for academic achievement and socioeconomic status (Kurlaender, 2006; Tovar, 2015). Thus, upon completing high school, 46% of Latinx enroll in the community college sector (Krogstad & Fry, 2015). When entering the community college system, approximately 51% of Latino/a/x aspire to transfer to a four-year college, but less than 14% will earn the bachelor’s degree within six years of enrollment (Radford, Berkner, Wheeless, & Sheperd, 2010). Ultimately, 35% of Latino/a/x earning a bachelor’s degree are transfer students, which is the highest among other racial groups (Cataldi, et al., 2011).

U.S. community colleges are complex organizations to lead (Eddy, 2010; Nevarez & Wood, 2010; Cohen & Brawer, 2008). Upholding the multiple missions of the community college (Amey 2012; Wood & Nevarez, 2014); responding to the nation’s developmental education crisis (Acevedo-Gil, Santos, & Solorzano, 2014; Bailey, 2009); addressing low completion and transfer rates (Bailey, Jaggars, & Jenkins, 2015); contending with dwindling, insufficient, and shifting revenue streams (Cohen & Brawer, 2008; Goldrick-Rab, 2010; Nevarez & Wood, 2010); (re)building relationships with board members (Smith, 2016); and operating within a culture of increased audit and accountability (Amey, 2010, 2012) are but a few of the challenges with which community college leadership and faculty must grapple. Additionally, an increasing number of community college leaders and faculty now face decisions centered on the added role of conferring baccalaureate degrees (Martinez, 2014; McKinney, Scicchitano, & Johns, 2013).

Within this context, we frame the community college as a sector that can facilitate college access for Latino/a/x students as well as a context where students, faculty, and leaders have to navigate and overcome institutional challenges to bridge degree aspirations with completions. This special issue aims to highlight the multiple ways in which community college leaders and Latino/a/x students respond to and challenge institutionalized obstacles in the community college pathway.

Latino/a/x across the United States enact new forms of social and political agency and claim authority to assert their voices through organizing and knowledge sharing. We see this collective sense of strength and resilience in the actions of Latinas/os/x who are creating new spaces from which to enact change. We expect this call for papers to continue to build collective knowledge and highlight the various ways Latino/a/x students and community colleges are adapting to and surviving these difficult times. It is also our hope for this issue to provide a forum for scholarship that addresses the national imperative of the growing Latino/a/x community college student population, as well as the spaces of hope and possibility present in their aspirations and persistence. We welcome manuscripts that offer theoretical perspectives; research findings; innovative methodologies; pedagogical reflections; and implications related to (but not limited to) the following areas:

  • College access
  • Developmental education
  • Transfer preparation
  • Parental and community support
  • Faculty and leadership
  • Community college mission and functions
  • Student Services

Submissions suitable for publication in this special issue include empirical papers, theoretical/conceptual papers, essays, book reviews, and poems. It is important to note that the special issue is interested in the broader Latino/a/x experience and not solely focused on the experiences of Mexican Americans (per the title of the journal).

The selection of manuscripts will be conducted as follows:

1. Manuscripts should not have been previously published in another journal, nor should they be under consideration by another journal at the time of submission.

2. Each manuscript will be subjected to a blind review by a panel of reviewers with expertise in the area treated by the manuscript. Those manuscripts recommended by the panel of experts will then be considered by the AMAE guest editors and editorial board, which will make the final selections. PLEASE NOTE: For a manuscript to be accepted for review, each contributing author (or at least one among co-authors) must agree to review one manuscript submitted to this special issue.

3. Manuscripts will be judged on strengths and relevance to the theme of the special issue.

Manuscripts should be submitted as follows:

1. Submit via email both a cover letter and copy of the manuscript in Microsoft Word to: Dr. Edna Martinez ( and Dr. Nancy Acevedo-Gil (

2. Cover letter should include name, title, short author bio (100 words), and institutional affiliation; indicate the type of manuscript submitted and the number of words, including references. Also, please indicate how your manuscript addresses the call for papers.

3. Prepare the manuscript for anonymous peer review. Authors should make every effort to ensure that the manuscript contains no clues to the author's identity. The manuscript should not include author’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information, or acknowledgements. (This information can be included in the cover letter at the time of submission).

4. Manuscripts should be no longer than 7,000 words (including references) and have an abstract of 200 words or less. Please follow the standard format of the American Psychological Association (APA). Include within the text all illustrations, charts, and graphs. Manuscripts may also be submitted in Spanish.

Deadline for submissions is April 20, 2017. Please address questions to Dr. Edna Martinez ( and Dr. Nancy Acevedo-Gil ( Authors will be asked to address revisions to their manuscripts during the summer months of 2017. This special issue is due to be published in December 2017.