Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I am pursuing Azusa Pacific University’s Master of Science in College Counseling and Student Development program. This program is relevant to my educational trajectory as a Latino student in higher education. I describe the K-12 schooling I attended in Orange County, California as one that neglected its predominantly Latina/o/x student body. The scholarship and literature on the educational neglect of community college and four-year university students of color have exposed me to the structural and social inequities that continue to target vulnerable groups. I thus will utilize this graduate program to my practice in stimulating student retention and success for historically underrepresented students in higher education.
The educational pipeline serves as a unit of analysis of the institutional issues that Latinx students continue to face in their trajectories into community colleges and four-year universities. My experiences as an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has contributed to my understanding of the existing efforts in helping historically underrepresented community college students and their transitions into four-year universities. Furthermore, the personal narratives shared by community college transfer students in my classes and research have emphasized the overwhelming neglect that Latinx community college students encounter in counseling services.
Following the completion of this degree, I will apply theories, research, and practice towards working at a community college that serves a large body of historically underrepresented students in Southern California. Thus, I plan to develop a program that bridges counseling services between community colleges and four-year universities. Educational social mobility is a key product of counseling and I seek to provide intersectional aid to students.

David from California
Azusa Pacific University