Community College HigherEd Access Leadership Equity Scholarship (CCHALES)

CCHALES is a research collective focused on examining the systems, structures, and practices within higher education that hinder racial equity. We conduct policy-relevant and practice-focused scholarship to improve the conditions, experiences, and outcomes for racially-minoritized students.

Who We Are
Principal Investigator: Eric R. Felix
Lead Graduate Researcher: Cynthia Estrada Garcia
Graduate Researchers: Diego Ceballos, Elizabeth Jimenez Perez, Rogelio Salazar, Erin Nicole Vedar


What We Do (Current Projects)

  • Aspirations of Attainment: Racial Disparities in College Completion
    • Purpose: To document the ways state completion policies and attainment plans discuss, identify, and address racial disparities in their attempt to improve degree attainment.
  • Embedding equity-mindedness and race-consciousness into Student Equity Planning
    • Purpose: To explore the ways institutions and practitioners use the student equity planning process as a tool to improve racial equity on campus. We attempt to uncover the contexts, conditions, and characteristics that allow for race-conscious implementation to occur in community college. Four institutions across the state have been selected as “sites of opportunity” to help us learn how policies can be used to address racial disparities.
  • Latinas in Power (Leadership in the Community College Context)
    • Purpose: To understand the experiences of Latinas in power serving in senior administration roles within the California Community College system. The project assesses the landscape of senior leadership in community college capturing the race/gender of individuals in power. Through this constructed profile, we identify campuses that have a Latina president and/or a critical mass of Latinas in power. From there we visit 2-4 case sites to learn about the experiences of Latinas in power and the ways that they shape the environment for Latinx student success.
  • Examining the Field of Institutional Research: Towards More Equitable Practices
    • Purpose: To survey the field of institutional research in the California Community Colleges and understand the role these offices play on campus to address racial inequity. First, we create a database of all institutional research offices in the state that captures: the name of the office, leadership structure, capacity/size, as well as the articulated purpose of the office. Second, we explore the ways that these IR offices and the individuals within them are prepared/trained to support equity-oriented reforms on campus.