The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Rachel Friedensen

Second Advisor

Adele Lozano

Third Advisor

Brittany Williams

Fourth Advisor

Tarrell Portman

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

grow your own, teacher preparation programs, testimonio, latinx, higher education, bi-cultural acculturation


In the United States there is a shortage of teachers of color. The shortage is exasperated through a lack of funding in education, racism in K-12 classrooms, and through non-inclusive traditional teacher preparation programs. One of the methods thought to increase recruitment, improve teacher training, and increase retention of teachers of color is through the creation of Grow You Own teacher preparation programs. Grow Your Own programs were created as alternative to traditional teacher preparation programs as they are in community colleges, placed in rural communities, and have a focus on culturally responsive pedagogy. There is a lack of research on the effectiveness of Grow Your Own programs and their retention of teachers of color.

Therefore, this study explored how a Latinx teacher candidate experienced his education at a Grow Your Own teacher preparation program. Through using testimonio and counterstory single case study, I used in depth plática to best understand how a Latinx teacher candidate used bi-cultural acculturation strategies to navigate his educational journey. The findings showed that to recruit and retain teacher candidates of color, Grow Your Own programs must ensure that teacher candidates feel connected to the faculty, staff, cohort, curriculum, and community. If teacher candidates do not feel a sense of connection they will be forced to move into using survival mode bi-cultural acculturation strategies which in turn lead to lower retention rates, lowered academic success, and a decrease of institutional connection.

Finally, the implications of the study suggested that Grow Your Own programs need to first create connection with the community to best understand the population needs. Second, programs must ensure that staff and faculty are trained in culturally responsive pedagogy to best serve teacher candidates. And third, programs must create a culture of acceptance and inclusion so that teacher candidates of color feel safe enough to learn and succeed in their program.



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