Policy implementation as a tool for advancing equity in community college





policy implementation, community college, equity


This special issue examines the role of policy implementation in the community college context and the ways reforms are enacted to achieve or advance educational equity. In this introduction, we provide an overview of policy implementation, its current landscape within higher education, and the role it can and must serve for community colleges as a tool to advance equity efforts. The articles in this special issue provide a well-rounded overview of policy implementation efforts across various states and institutions. Authors examine promise programs, equity initiatives, articulation agreements, federally funded support programs, and race-conscious implementation. The community college context serves as a critical site of inquiry given that almost half of the undergraduate population is enrolled at a community college. Therefore, the following articles explore how to leverage policy implementation as a tool toward more equitable outcomes.


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Author Biographies

Ángel de Jesus Gonzalez, San Diego State University

Ángel de Jesus Gonzalez is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Community College Leadership Ed.D. program at San Diego State University. Their research examines the conditions, experiences, and outcomes for LGBTQ+ students at community colleges, with a focus on Queer Latinx students and professionals. 

Luz Burgos-López, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Luz Burgos-López is a second year doctoral student in the Learning, Leadership, and Educational Policy Ph.D. program at the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut. Her research explores anti-Black ideology in existing research pedagogy on the Latinx students and the role racial classifications in scholarship production and policy implantation within higher education. Her current research project uses critical analysis of the construction of Latinidad as a racial classification to examine the erasure of Blackness and the monolith representation of Latinidad.

Eric R. Felix, San Diego State University

Eric R. Felix is a critical policy scholar examining the ways policymakers craft higher education reform and how institutional leaders implement them. His research focuses on understanding how policy implementation may benefit, harm, or render invisible Latinx students and other minoritized groups in the community college context.

H. Kenny Nienhusser, University of Connecticut, Storrs

H. Kenny Nienhusser is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education & Student Affairs Program in the Neag School of Education and Faculty Director of La Comunidad Intelectual at the University of Connecticut. His research examines the origins of public policies and their implementation environments that affect the postsecondary education access of minoritized youth in the United States.




How to Cite

Gonzalez, Ángel de J., Burgos-López, L., Felix, E. R., & Nienhusser, H. K. (2021). Policy implementation as a tool for advancing equity in community college. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 25. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.29.6689



Policy Implementation as an Instrument to Achieve Educational Equity