Latina Educational Trajectories to the Academy

Early Experience, Education Policies, and Mentoring

  • Magdalena Martinez University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Keywords: Latina, Doctoral, Career, Trajectories, Academy, Racism, Pathways, Mentorship


In this article, I examine three Latinas’ early educational experiences, key individuals who shaped their academic paths, their mentorship influences, and the policies and programs that propelled them to complete their doctoral studies. I offer an in-depth analysis, situated in Latinx critical theory (LaCrit) and Chicana feminist theory, of a group of Latinas in the academy, the individuals, education policies, and institutional resources that shaped that their trajectories. I discuss two findings that emerged in their early and doctoral education experiences: the role of education policies and programs as experienced by them, and how race and racism intersected with their educational trajectory. I offer two recommendations to improve pathways for Latina doctoral students: continued advocacy for education policies that widen opportunities and implementation of asset-based mentoring programs.

Author Biography

Magdalena Martinez, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dr. Magdalena Martinez is an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Leadership, College of Urban Affairs, and Director of Education Programs with The Lincy Institute. Her areas of expertise include education policy, leadership, access and equity for underrepresented student populations and the role of higher education in a diverse society. She regularly provides expert testimony (k-12 and postsecondary) on education policy issues and is involved in efforts to build capacity through education research and policy.

Empirical & Conceptual Studies