AN INVESTIGATION OF CRITICAL MASS: The Role of Latino Representation in the Success of Urban Community College Students

The community college has historically functioned as a primary access point to postsecondary education for Latino students. This study, an investigation conducted through an analysis of the Transfer and Retention of Urban Community College Students (TRUCCS) project, focuses on Latino students enrolled in urban “minority-majority” community colleges, where Latino students have a high representation. The specific interest of this research is the role and effect of the level of representation of Latino community college students on their academic outcomes. The relationship between the level of representation of Latinos, and the levels of academic success are analyzed in concert with other variables, such as, the level of representation of Latino faculty on campus, student age, attitude, academic integration, English ability and aspiration. Findings indicate a relationship between academic success of Latino community college students and the proportion of Latino students and faculty on campus. The findings thus suggest that a critical mass of Latinos may be a positive influence encouraging “minority” students to higher academic performance.

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Correspondence to Linda Serra Hagedorn.

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Hagedorn, L.S., Chi, W.(., Cepeda, R.M. et al. AN INVESTIGATION OF CRITICAL MASS: The Role of Latino Representation in the Success of Urban Community College Students. Res High Educ 48, 73–91 (2007).

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Key words

  • community college
  • Latino students
  • student success