Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Psychology

Abstract

Disparities in educational outcomes still exist for low-income and underrepresented students. Community colleges are an important entry point for student groups that have faced the most significant barriers to success. Community colleges account for almost half of all undergraduate enrollments in the United States and also enroll a higher proportion of low-income and minority students (American Association of Community Colleges, 2012; Aud, Hussar, Johnson, Kena, & Roth, 2012). The purpose of this study was to examine the timing of academic integration factors that contribute to degree completion of low income, underrepresented minority community college students over the course of seven years. In order to identify the temporal aspect of academic factors associated with degree completion and withdrawal, this study utilized Event History Analysis (EHA). EHA characterized the probability that a student would graduate or drop out during the study period and modeled the probability as a function of targeted covariates using discrete-time logistic regression. Results indicated that students were most likely to graduate or drop out in year five and six; contrary to most studies that indicate that the first year is the most important retention time period. Variables found to increase chances of graduation included full-time enrollment, successful completion of college level English and Math courses, completion of 20 credit hours, receiving an advanced or basic certificate, maintaining a high ratio of courses attempted to earned, earning a higher GPA, taking online courses, and transferring to a four year institution. Factors that reduced the likelihood of graduation were being male, having a lower family income quartile, failing or withdrawing from multiple courses, and taking remedial Math. Results of this study can be used to promote policies and practices within the community college system that lead to improved degree outcomes for low-income, underrepresented minority students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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