Impact of California Community Colleges Student Centered Funding Formula on First-Generation College Students at Minority Serving Institutions: An Exploration of the Perspectives of Student Services Professionals

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Purpose. This study aims to examine the impact of the Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) on a selection of California community colleges that are Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) from the perspective of student services professionals at these colleges to understand the equity implications of the formula for first-generation college students. Theoretical Framework. This research is based on resource dependence, principal–agent, and critical race theory. Methodology. A qualitative phenomenological case study was conducted using open-ended interviews with 18 student services professionals to gain insight into their perspectives on the SCFF and the impact of the formula on first-generation college students from the lens of student services professionals at minority-serving California colleges. Findings. This research found three impacts on minority-serving California community colleges because of the SCFF and three ways student services at minority-serving California community colleges could mitigate any negative impact on first-generation college students. In addition, this study found that there is no shared understanding of the funding formula or the implication of the funding to minority-serving California community colleges. Conclusion and Recommendations. This phenomenological study provided critical feedback on the SCFF from student services professionals. The findings from this study concluded that minority-serving California community colleges will be impacted by the SCFF, and although there is no shared understanding of the formula, the student services professionals interviewed were able to share their perspectives that there are things that student services could do to mitigate any negative impact to first-generation college students. The researcher offered recommendations that allow student services leaders to take positive actions toward mitigating any negative impacts on the colleges and first-generation college students while building institutional cohesion and collaboration and centering students in the approach to meeting the metrics by holistically approaching the metrics rather than addressing them piecemeal.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Public Administration, Public Policy