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Personal profile

Personal profile

José Del Real Viramontes is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education/Community College Leadership Program in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Del Real Viramontes holds faculty affiliations with the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Project Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success (MALES) at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a visiting affiliate in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, at New York University.


Del Real Viramontes is a proud first-generation immigrant scholar from Jerez, Zacatecas Mexico. He grew up in Hollywood, California. He attended public schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. After high school he attended four community colleges (East Los Angeles College, Glendale Community College, Los Angeles Community College, and Pasadena City College) before transferring to the University of California Los Angeles and earning a B.A in Chicana/o Studies. Del Real Viramontes holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Cultural Studies in Education from the University of Texas at Austin.

Research Interests

As a former community college transfer student, Del Real Viramontes’ research explores three areas of the transfer experience for historically underserved and marginalized students, with a particular emphasis on Latina/o/x students who use the community college as a pathway to complete their baccalaureate degrees. First, Del Real Viramontes examines the transfer policies, practices, and programming four-year colleges and universities apply to limit or eliminate institutional and structural barriers Latinx students face during the transfer process.

Second, Del Real Viramontes also highlights how Latina/o/x community college students develop their agency and use aspects of their cultural and social capitals to navigate and negotiate the ideological, material, and structural conditions within the community college to four-year college or university transfer process. Third, he explores the campus culture for Latina/o/x community college transfer students once they transfer to a four-year college or university, by looking at the relationship between race and space, and the intersectional identities with which Latina/o/x community college transfer students identify.

Del Real Viramontes is currently working on two projects. The first is a co-edited book, tentatively titled Latina/o/x Community College Students: Navigating and Negotiating the Community College to Four-Year College/University Transfer Pipeline. The edited volume provides much-needed theoretical and empirical data on the experiences of Latina/o/x students who enter postsecondary education through the community college. The book will bring together research highlighting the experiences of Latina/o/x students during the pre-and post-transfer process to ensure that higher education institutions develop transfer policies and programming that support the specific needs of Latina/o/x students. The second, is a study currently looking at how four-year colleges and universities in the Midwest respond during COVID-19 to ensure Latina/o/x community college students have access to the information and resources they need to become transfer eligible, apply, enroll, and graduate with their baccalaureate degrees.

Selected Publications
Peer Reviewed Articles

Del Real Viramontes, J. (Revise and Resubmit). Latina/o Community College Transfer Students: Using Their Community Cultural Wealth to Negotiate the Pre-Transfer Process. Community College Review.

Del Real Viramontes, J. (2020). Latina/o Transfer Students and Community Cultural Wealth: Expanding the Transfer Receptive Culture Framework. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 1-16.

Del Real Viramontes, J. (2020). Transforming the Community College Transfer Pipeline for Latinx Community College Students. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College. 27(2), 161-171.

Book Chapters

Del Real Viramontes, J. (Accepted). The Role of Community College Leaders in Developing/Enhancing a Transfer Sending Culture for Latina/o/x Community College Students. New Directions for Community Colleges.

Del Real Viramontes. J. (2021) Critical Race Theory Offshoots: Building on the Foundations of CRT and Emphasizing the Nuances they Offer. In Lynn, M., and Dixson, A. (Eds.) Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education, Second Edition. Routledge

Del Real Viramontes. J., & Jain, D., (2021). Utilizing Transformative Theoretical Frameworks with Transfer Students of Color. In Gardner, J.N., Koch, A., Rosenberg, M.J. (Eds.), The Transfer Experience: A Handbook for Creating a More Equitable and Successful Postsecondary System. Stylus Publishing.

Del Real Viramontes, J., & Urrieta, L., Jr. (2018). Un cuento de nunca acabar: Exploring the Transfer Conditions for Latinx Tejanx Community College Students in Texas. In A. De Los Santos, G.F. Keller, G.F. & A. Acereda (Eds.) New Directions: Assessment and preparation of Hispanic college students (pp. 201-221). Bilingual Press.


As a first-generation immigrant scholar, my teaching practice is influenced by my learning experiences as an English Learner (EL) and by what Valenzuela (1999) describes as authentic forms of caring, which fosters a reciprocal relationship among teachers and students. I define a reciprocal relationship between the teacher and student as a relationship in which both share the power in the classroom. In my classroom, I practice this by considering each student as a holder and a creator of knowledge and, as a result, someone with whom I can learn from and co-create knowledge.. Furthermore, authentic forms of caring also promote and validate student’s cultural values and beliefs (Valenzuela, 1999), thereby enabling a dynamic, collaborative learning environment in which every student, regardless of their age, racial/ethnic background, gender, socio-economic status, ability, and sexual identity or orientation knows that they bring valuable skills and knowledge to the classroom.

Teaching in a higher education program, I aim to prepare students to go into positions as scholars, researchers, academic and student affairs practitioners, or leaders in post-secondary institutions. I do this by helping students learn and understand that higher education continues to be shaped by historical and contemporary events, social structures, and individual and group actions. When students leave my courses, they can articulate issues of access, choice, enrollment, and completion in higher education within a sociohistorical, sociocultural, and sociopolitical perspective. To facilitate these discussions, I incorporate multiple types of strategies to ensure participation. For example, I integrate small group discussions, topical lectures, student-led discussions, peer group sharing, and short-written reflection activities to provide students with multiple learning and expression avenues. My teaching approach values collaborative learning. I conduct many activities in small groups that encourage students to explore and build knowledge collectively. I also use multi-modal teaching forms and incorporate technological tools such as Canvas, YouTube, podcasts, and webinars into the classroom environment. Ultimately, my goal as their instructor is to facilitate constructive and critical discussions by providing different methods that offer every student an opportunity to think about the material in one form or another.


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