This Project MALES research brief focuses on how masculinity influences the community college to four-year university transfer experience. Further, the phenomenological study referenced in this brief focused on examining the lived socialization and masculinities experiences of 36 undergraduate Latino men who had transferred from a community college to a four-year university in Texas, California, or Florida. Participants were over the age of 18, self-identified as Latino or Hispanic, self-identified as men, had transferred from a community college to a four-year institution, and were currently enrolled as undergraduate students at a four-year public institution. This study was guided by the following research questions: 1) What prior gender socialization experiences do men bring with them as they transition from the community college to the four-year college experience? 2) How do masculinities and identity conflicts affect male students’ attitudes and behaviors during this transition?
This study found that Latino men brought prior gender and racial/ethnic socialization patterns with them during the transfer process. These socialization patterns influenced the ways in which Latino men engaged with the college-going process and shaped their perspectives about masculinities. In order to understand men as complex individuals, future research will need to consider intersectionality to uncover the multiple identities of men who are transfer students. Student organizations for men of color could also be studied to explore how they impact Latino men throughout the transfer process and during their experience in college. Understanding how programming in these areas at com- munity colleges affects students after transfer could shed new light on how interventions enable students to succeed and how their identities develop. The findings of this study can also inform practice and policy in higher education. The findings suggest benefits from and a need for spaces on college campuses for discussing issues related to masculinity. Creating such spaces and support structures at the community col- lege level may help to better prepare men for their transfer experiences and take advantage of such structures more readily when they move to four-year colleges. Policy makers should also look at men as complex individuals and consider their multiple intersecting identities. This view of men should be considered at both the initial conception of policies and throughout evaluation and refinement as well.
For Dr. Rodriguez, Dr. Vasquez, and Dr. Salina’s full brief click here.
For the rest of our brief series click here.