Texas Hispanic students attending Texas community colleges : institutional characteristics influencing enrollment and graduation.
Whitis, Harold Glen.
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This quantitative study used the college choice nexus developed by St. John, Paulsen, and Starkey (1996) to explore how the predictor variables of average total cost of attendance (AVGCOA), average federal/state/local financial aid awarded (AVGFA), local Hispanic population (LHISPOP), and percentage of Hispanic faculty (PERHFAC) explain the two dependent variable outcomes of Hispanic students enrolling (PERHENR) and graduating (HISPGRPER) from a Texas community college. The population for this quantitative study was the 66 Texas public community colleges selected from the IPEDS Data Center online search tool. Institutions selected for this analysis were only those whose Carnegie Classification 2005 equaled Associate’s—Public. There were four specific research questions for this study. The first two asked how well the predictor variables explain the enrollment and graduation rates of Texas Hispanic students at Texas community colleges. Multiple regression was utilized to answer the first two research questions. Two linear equations were generated; one for each dependent variable. To answer the last two research questions, commonality analysis sought to determine which predictor variable was most useful in explaining the variance in Hispanic enrollment and graduation. Commonality analysis allowed the researcher to identify the combined and unique usefulness of individual variables, or sets of variables, in explaining variance accounted for in the designated dependent variable. This research concluded that the four predictor variables would be beneficial in explaining Hispanic enrollment but not Hispanic graduation in similar populations. It further concluded that the percent of Hispanic faculty uniquely accounts for the majority of variance in Hispanic enrollment and that the local Hispanic population percentage accounted for the majority of the variance in Hispanic graduation percentages. This research was conducted to provide useful information to the Texas Higher Coordinating Board and the Texas Legislature that would assist in the development of strategies that would help Texas attain the goals outlined in Closing the Gaps 2015.