The Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies

Volume 6, Number 1 - February 2017

Letter from the Editors

The Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies (JTLPS), Volume 6.1, proffers a major thematic link converging on the intersectionality of leadership and policy across educational systems. The thematic link across several of the manuscripts provides a focus on the promise to improve student success. The authors pose critical statements and questions informed by scholarship. Sample questions include: How do schools and colleges promote student success? What constitutes success and how is it measured? What are promising practices in advancing student success across diverse student populations? Collectively, the varied manuscripts in this volume provide a comprehensive overview of the multiple dimensions driving student success practices. This integrative approach involves the consideration of multiple factors in promoting students’ success (e.g., academic, personal, leadership, language, social, and ethical). 

Volume 6.1 of JTLPS begins by featuring an empirical report titled, “Illuminating Personal Factors Contributing to the Trajectory of Student Dropouts and Stopouts,” which is the first of a series of two reports focused on examining the stopout and dropout phenomena at Sacramento State. For the purpose of this report, the data analysis and interpretation centers on highlighting personal issues influencing student departure. Personal issues are defined as the concern with students’ mental health, economic, social, and health concerns. The data was collected via focus groups and on-line surveys conducted between Spring 2015 to Fall 2016. The targeted groups were students who had attended Sacramento State between 2009 to 2014. Specific questions centered on identifying factors that were a deterrent to students being able to remain in college. The objective of this research was to develop a data driven framework to guide Sacramento State in advancing effective practices in moving students toward degree completion. An important companion to the data analysis and interpretation are the sections on recommendations for action. 

A reflective leadership essay titled, “Values, Migrant Parents, Leadership, and the Public Good,” is featured and recounts the experiences of a leader growing up in a migrant family, participating in the United States educational system in predominately Hispanic neighborhoods, and working as an educator and administrator in institutions of higher education. The author proposes new avenues to open new spaces for the Mexican American community by sharing the lessons learned as a result of the values and principles common to the culture. Specifically, values related to unity and social consciousness; resourcefulness and responsibility; physical, mental, and spiritual health; and a commitment to education are highlighted as having a significant influence on the author’s personal leadership development.

This volume includes two book reviews. The first is titled, “Americans by Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education,” which focused on the lived experiences of undocumented Latino students in the community college system. The author highlights the hopes and ambitions juxtapose the continuous obstacles that exist for each of them as they attempt to make their way through the higher education landscape. This book is timely and important, as there are 3.2 million undocumented children and adults living in the United States, and 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year. The significance of this growing population is impacting the educational systems, particularly in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas, where two-thirds of all immigrants reside. Hence, Pérez advocates for educational practice reform to meet the needs of these students, as increased levels of education will enable their capacity to be productive members of the labor force and as contributors on local, state, and national levels.

The second book review titled, “Bullying as a Social Experience: Social Factors, Prevention and Intervention,” presents a theoretical framework and an extended argument about the socio-cultural characteristics and contexts of bullying. The authors review scholarship on bullying and programs aimed at reducing it through their theoretical lens. Recommended intervention and prevention strategies that engage all stakeholders in changing the attitudes, behaviors, and structures that promote or maintain bullying in school settings underscore the book. This review is dedicated to the life and legacy of Dr. Juliana Raskauskas, whose kindness, humor, work ethic, and record of scholarship inspired her colleagues, and will assist future researchers and practitioners in the field of bullying.

This volume ends by featuring two new book releases: “Teaching Men of Color in the Community College: A Guidebook,” advances recommendations for improving the success of men of color in community colleges. Drawing from insights gleaned from research on men of color, the authors extend strategies and practices that can advance advising, student services, and other support practices. The second book: “Practical Leadership in Community College: Navigating Today’s Challenges,” provides practical guidance toward optimal outcomes for all community college stakeholders through the examination of both emerging trends and perennial problems facing as a result of the changing demographics, federal and state mandates, public demand, economic cycles, student unrest, employee groups, trustees, college supporters, and more. 

JTLPS and its editorial board wishes to thank the Chancellor’s Office of the California State University and the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento for its continued support. We also invite future authors to submit their manuscripts with the understanding that that they are accepted for review on a rolling basis. 

Carlos Nevarez, PhD
Executive Editor

Porfirio Loeza, PhD