Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Aly McDowell

Second Advisor

Michael Sampson

Third Advisor

John Escobedo


California Community Colleges (CCC) is the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the United States. It serves 2.1 million students, 54% of whom are from historically racially marginalized communities in the United States (California Community College Chancellor’s Offices, 2020). As with all higher education settings in this country, such diversity results in large racial disparities in classroom outcomes. While the classroom remains the primary point of contact for students, CCC instruction is vastly underresearched, with existing research tending to focus on issues outside the classroom (Zapata, 2019). In an effort to identify an effective method to support the elimination of racial disparities in classroom outcomes, this study utilized a critical race theory (CRT) lens (Ledesma & Calderón, 2015) to implement a mixed-methods explanatory sequential design to examine teacher preparation in a program of professional development, the Equity-Minded Teaching and Learning Institute (EMTLI). This year-long program introduces changes to pedagogy and teaching practices using course-level racially disaggregated data. It uses equity-minded teaching and learning methods stemming from CRT to train multidisciplinary faculty in addressing racial disparities in classroom outcomes for students from historically racially marginalized communities.

This study examined the influence of voluntary participation in two EMTLI programs, spring/fall 2019 and fall/spring 2019–2020, for 32 multidisciplinary faculty. The purpose was to measure any shifts to improved pedagogical and teaching practices and their own perceptions of students from historically racially marginalized communities. Previously administered EMTLI survey data were collected and examined for pre and post pedagogical and teaching practices. Semi-structured interviews informed by the survey data were carried out to better gauge changes to pedagogy, teaching practices, perceptions of students from historically racially marginalized communities, and overall program effectiveness. The outcomes of this study show participants believe EMTLI is an effective program of professional development. It supports eliminating course-level racial equity gaps because it had a significant impact on participant changes to faculty practices, policies, and perceptions of students from historically racially marginalized communities.