Hispanic Student Success: Factors Influencing the Persistence and Transfer Decisions of Latino Community College Students Enrolled in Developmental Education

Abstract

This study examined the impact of a set of theoretically-derived predictor variables on the persistence and transfer of Hispanic community college students. Early models of student persistence have been validated primarily among 4-year college students. While the constructs have been well-established, the relationships of those relevant factors remain unexamined among community college transfer students, and specifically, among Hispanic students enrolled in developmental coursework and planning to transfer from a community college to a 4-year institution. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the hypothesized conceptual framework on an existing set of quantitative persistence data drawn from a national sample of Hispanic students.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Unweighted sample sizes are rounded to the nearest ten, per IES Data Security guidelines.

References

  1. Adelman, C. (1999). Answers in the tool box: Academic intensity, attendance patterns, and bachelor’s degree attainment. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Adelman, C. (2006). The toolbox revisited: Paths to degree completion from high school through college. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Aizenman, N. C. (2008, February 12). U.S. Latino population projected to soar. Washingtonpost.com (p. A03). Retrieved on February 2, 2009, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/11/AR2008021101294.html.

  4. Alexander, B. C., García, V., González, L., Grimes, G., & O’Brien, D. (2007). Barriers in the transfer process for Hispanic and Hispanic immigrant students. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 6(2), 174–184.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Arbona, C., & Nora, A. (2007). Predicting college attainment of Hispanic students: Individual, institutional, and environmental factors. The Review of Higher Education, 30(3), 247–270.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Attewell, P., Lavin, D., Domina, T., & Levey, T. (2006). New evidence on college remediation. The Journal of Higher Education, 77(5), 886–924.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bailey, T., & Weininger, E. B. (2002). Performance, graduation, and transfer of immigrants and natives in City University of New York community colleges. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24(4), 359–377.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Berger, J. B. (2000). Optimizing capital, social reproduction, and undergraduate persistence: A sociological perspective. In J. M. Braxton (Ed.), Reworking the student departure puzzle (pp. 95–126). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Bettinger, E., & Long, B. T. (2005). Remediation at the community college: Student participation and outcomes. New Directions for Community Colleges, 129, 17–26.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Bourdieu, P. (1973). Cultural reproduction and social reproduction. In R. Brown (Ed.), Knowledge, education, and cultural change (pp. 71–112). London: Travistock.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Burley, H., Butner, B., & Cejda, B. (2001). Dropout and stopout patterns among developmental education students in Texas community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 25, 767–782.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Cabrera, A. F., & Nora, A. (1994). College students’ perceptions of prejudice and discrimination and their feelings of alienation: A construct validation approach. The Review of Education/Pedagogy/Cultural Studies, 16(3–4), 387–409.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Cabrera, A. F., Nora, A., & Castaneda, M. B. (1993). College persistence: Structural equation modeling test of an integrated model of student retention. Journal of Higher Education, 64(2), 123–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cabrera, A. F., Stampen, J. O., & Hansen, W. L. (1990). Exploring the effects of ability to pay on persistence in college. Review of Higher Education, 13(3), 303–336.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Calcagno, J. C., Bailey, T., Jenkins, D., Kienzl, G., & Leinbach, T. (2008). Community college student success: What institutional characteristics make a difference? Economics of Education Review, 27(2008), 632–645.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Castellanos, J., & Jones, L. (2004). Latino/a undergraduate experiences in American higher education. In J. Castellanos & L. Jones (Eds.), The majority in the minority. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Cejda, B. D., & Rhodes, J. H. (2004). Through the pipeline: The role of faculty in promoting associated degree completion among Hispanic students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28, 249–262.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Chronicle of Higher Education. (2001, Aug 21). The Chronicle of Higher Education: Almanac Issue, 48(1), Washington, DC.

  19. Crews, D. M., & Aragon, S. R. (2004). Influence of a community college developmental education writing course on academic performance. Community College Review, 23, 1–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Dougherty, K. J. (2002). The evolving role of the community college: Policy issues and research questions. In J. C. Smart & W. G. Tierney (Eds.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol. XVII, pp. 295–348). New York: Agathon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Enders, C. K. (2008, March 25). Analysis of missing data. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American educational research association, New York, NY.

  22. Fry, R. (2004). Latino youth finishing college: The role of selective pathways. Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved June 24, 2004, from www.pewhispanic.org.

  23. Garson, D. (2008). Logistic regression. Retrieved December 3, 2008, from http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/garson/PA765/logistic.htm.

  24. Higbee, J. L., Arendale, D. R., & Lundell, D. B. (2005). Using theory and research to improve access and retention in developmental education. New Directions for Community Colleges, 129, 5–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Hoachlander, G., Sikora, A. C., & Horn, L. (2003). Community college students: Goals, academic preparation, and outcomes. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Hoyt, J. E. (1999). Remedial education and student attrition. Community College Review, 27, 51–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Hu, S., & St. John, E. P. (2001). Student persistence in a public higher education system: Understanding racial and ethnic differences. Journal of Higher Education, 72(3), 265–286.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Hurtado, S., & Carter, D. F. (1997). Effects of college transition and perceptions of the campus racial climate on Latino college student’s sense of belonging. Sociology of Education, 70, 324–435.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Hurtado, S., Carter, D. F., & Spuler, A. (1996). Latino student transition to college: Assessing difficulties and factors in successful college adjustment. Research in Higher Education, 37, 135–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Hurtado, S., & Kamimura, M. (2003). Latina/o retention in four-year institutions. In J. Castellanos & L. Jones (Eds.), The majority in the minority: Expanding the representation of Latina/o faculty, administrators, and students in higher education (pp. 139–150). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Hurtado, S., & Ponjuan, L. (2005). Latino educational outcomes and the campus climate. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 4(3), 235–251.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Jepsen, C. (2006, April). Basic skills in California’s community colleges: Evidence from staff and self referrals. Paper presented at the American education research association (AERA) meeting, San Francisco.

  33. Kreysa, P. G. (2007). The impact of remediation on persistence of under-prepared college students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice, 8(2), 251–270.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Logerbeam, S. D., Sedlacek, W. E., & Alatorre, H. M. (2004). In their own voices: Latino student retention. NASPA Journal, 41(3), 538–550.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Lottes, I. L., DeMaris, A., & Adler, M. A. (1996). Using and interpreting logistic regression: A guide for teachers and students. Teaching Sociology, 24(3), 284–298.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Melguizo, T., Hagedorn, L. S., & Cypers, S. (2008). Remedial/developmental education and the cost of community college transfer: A Lost Angeles county sample. The Review of Higher Education, 31(4), 401–431.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Nora, A. (1987). Determinants of retention among Chicano college students: A structural model. Research in Higher Education, 26(1), 31–59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Nora, A. (1990). Campus-based aid programs as determinates of retention among Hispanic community college students. Journal of Higher Education, 61(3), 312–327.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Nora, A., & Wedham, E. (April, 1991). Off-campus experiences: The pull factors affecting freshman-year attrition on a commuter campus. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American educational research association, Chicago: IL.

  40. Nora, A., & Garcia, V. (November, 2001). The role of perceptions of remediation on the persistence of developmental students in higher education. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the association for the study of higher education.

  41. Nora, A. (2003). Access to higher education for Hispanic students: Real or illusory? In J. Castellanos & L. Jones’ (Eds.), The majority in the minority: Expanding the representation of Latina/o faculty, administrators and students in higher education (pp. 47–68). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Nora, A., & Cabrera, A. F. (1996). The role of perceptions of prejudice and discrimination on the adjustment of minority students to college. Journal of Higher Education, 67(2), 120–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Nora, A., Cabrera, A. F., Hagedorn, L. S., & Pascarella, E. T. (1996). Differential impacts of academic and social experiences on college-related behavioral outcomes across different ethnic and gender groups at four-year institutions. Research in Higher Education, 37(4), 427–451.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Nora, A., Castaneda, M. B., & Cabrera, A. F. (1992). Student persistence: The testing of a comprehensive structural model of retention. Paper presented at the annual conference of the association for the study of higher education, Minneapolis, MN.

  45. Nora, A., Kraemer, B., & Hagedorn, L. (November, 1997). Persistence among non-traditional Hispanic college students: A causal model. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the association for the study of higher education, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  46. Nora, A., & Rendon, L. I. (1990). Determinants of predisposition to transfer among community college students: A structural model. Research in Higher Education, 31(3), 235–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Nora, A., Rendon, L. I., & Cuadraz, G. (1999). Access, choice, and outcomes: A profile of Hispanic students in higher education. In A. Tashakkori & H. S. Ochoa’s (Eds.), Readings on equal education: Education of Hispanics in the U.S.: Policies, policies and outcomes (Vol. 16). New York: AMS Press Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Nunez, A. (2009). Latino students’ transitions to college: A social and intercultural capital perspective. Harvard Educational Review, 79(1), 22–48.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Parsad, B., Lewis, L., & Greene, B. (2003). Remedial education at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2000 (NCES 2004-010). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Pascarella, E. T., Wolniak, G. C., Pierson, C. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2003). Experiences and outcomes of first-generation students in community colleges. Journal of College Student Development, 44(3), 420–429.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Peng, C. J., So, T. H., Stage, F. K., & St. John, E. P. (2002). The use and interpretation of logistic regression in higher education journals: 1988–1999. Research in Higher Education, 43(3), 259–293.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Rendon, L. I., & Hope, R. O. (1996). Educating a new majority: Transforming America’s educational system for diversity. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Rendon, L. I., Jalomo, R., & Nora, A. (2001). Minority student persistence. In J. Braxton’s (Ed.), Rethinking the departure puzzle: New theory and research on college student retention. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Rendon, L., & Nora, A. (1997). Student academic progress: Key trends. Report prepared for the national center for urban partnerships. New York: Ford Foundation.

  56. Rendon, L. I., & Valdez, J. R. (1993). Qualitative indicators of Hispanic student transfer. Community College Review, 20(4), 27–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Snyder, T. D., Tan, A. G., & Hoffman, C. M. (2006). Digest of education statistics 2005 (NCES 2006–030). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Stampen, J. O., & Cabrera, A. F. (1988). Is the student aid system achieving its objectives? Evidence on targeting and attrition. Economics of Education Review, 7, 29–46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Suarez, A. L. (2003). Forward transfer: Strengthening the educational pipeline for Latino community college students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 27, 95–117.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Swail, W. S., Cabrera, A. F., Lee, C., & Williams, A. (2005). Pathways to the bachelor’s degree for Latino students. Washington, DC: The Educational Policy Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Tierney, W. (1992). An anthropological analysis of student participation in college. Journal of Higher Education, 63(6), 603–618.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Torres, V. (2006). A mixed method study testing data-model fit of a retention model for Latino/a students at urban universities. Journal of College Student Development, 47(3), 299–318.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Wassmer, R., Moore, C., & Shulock, N. (2004). The effect of racial/ethnic composition on transfer rates in community colleges: Implications for policy and practice. Research in Higher Education, 45(6), 651–672.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Wilds, D. J., & Wilson, R. (1998). Minorities in higher education: Sixteenth annual status report. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Woodlief, L., & Chavez, L. (2002). California tomorrow fact sheet: Outcomes for students in California community colleges. Oakland: California Tomorrow.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Zurita, M. (2004). Stopping out and persisting: Experiences of Latino undergraduates. Journal of College Student Retention, 6(3), 301–324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gloria Crisp.

Additional information

This study is based upon work supported by the Association for Institutional Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, National Science Foundation and National Postsecondary Education Cooperative under an Association for Institutional Research Grant for 2007–2008.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Crisp, G., Nora, A. Hispanic Student Success: Factors Influencing the Persistence and Transfer Decisions of Latino Community College Students Enrolled in Developmental Education. Res High Educ 51, 175–194 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-009-9151-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Hispanic students
  • Persistence
  • Success
  • Developmental education
  • Community college