Ernestina Aguilar is a principal in the Saugus Union School District where she oversees a school of about 485 students.
Ernestina decided to enroll in LMU's Ed.D. Program because it offered an affordable course of study with embedded supports in completing the dissertation process. In addition, the welcoming and personal feel to the program convinced her that she was in a supportive environment where she could achieve her educational goals.
Ernestina’s dissertation is focused on Latina junior high school students and their experiences contributing to their academic self concept. She is interested in raising the voices of Latina students in order to help raise awareness around their academic needs and supports. Through their narratives, she believes we can learn so much around teaching and learning that will benefit not only Latina students but all students.
Ernestina believes that LMU’s Ed.D. Program has led her back to finding herself. Through the classes, the writing, workshops, and cohort support, she has been able to learn about her positionality, values, and beliefs. She never thought that she would peel back so many layers of herself and feels that she is a different person and has grown as a writer, a student, and as an individual. However, the most important tools she has acquired through her experiences in the program are her increased confidence and the conviction that she is a social justice warrior.