Disparities in College Graduation Rates for African American and Latinx Students at a Small Midwestern College: A Case Study

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Authors
Harmon, Jason M.
Issue Date
2022-04-08
Type
Dissertation
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en_US
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that lead to the disproportionality of the graduation rates of African American and Latinx students at College X. This qualitative case study utilized interviews with faculty, staff, and administrators, document analysis, and site observations to study a small Midwestern college, College X. Information was collected on policies, processes, and systems that might hinder or facilitate academic success and therefore the achievement of graduation. A data analysis spiral was used to produce three themes that addressed the question, how does the College understand the disproportionality of the graduation rates at the institution? The findings suggest College X has (1) self-awareness of the diversity of its members and the disproportionate graduation rates between different student groups, (2) awareness of the imperfect nature of its efforts, and (3) a desire to be an inclusive campus that serves the community. The aim of this study was to develop a set of recommendations for College X on how to reduce the disproportionate outcomes. Based on the previous scholarship related to academic support services and diversity and inclusion efforts, along with the findings of the current study, there are five recommended solutions for College X to help address the problem: (1) define and share the problem, (2) clearly communicate with the institution about the problem, (3) study the community scholars program for efficacy, (4) provide early engagement and transition assistance to more students as they enter College X, and (5) hire, onboard, and train more people that will lead to a more diverse and inclusive campus. Keywords: African American, college graduation rates, Latinx, belonging, transformational leadership
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University and to ProQuest following the publishing model selected above.
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