DIFFERENCES IN TOTAL PERSISTENCE AND GRADUATION RATES OF BLACK STUDENTS IN TEXAS COMMUNITY COLLEGES: A MULTIYEAR, STATEWIDE STUDY
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Purpose The purposes of this journal-ready dissertation were to examine the Total 1-year persistence rates and the Total 2-year persistence rates of Black students at Texas community colleges. Another purpose involved a comparison of the graduation rates of Black community college students with the graduation rates of Asian, White, and Hispanic community college students. Specifically investigated was the extent to which differences were present in the Total 1-year and Total 2-year persistence rates of Black community college students between the 1999-2000 academic year and the 2006-2007 academic year; between the 2006-2007 academic year and the 2013-2014 academic years; and between the 1999-2000 academic year and the 2013-2014 academic year. With respect to graduation rates, the extent to which graduation rates of the four major ethnic/racial groups in Texas differed for the 2007-2008 through the 2015-2016 academic years were examined. By examining multiple years of data, the extent to which trends were present in graduation rates was determined. Method For this study, a non-experimental causal-comparative research design was utilized. Archival data were obtained from the Texas Higher Education Board Interactive Accountability System on all Texas community colleges for the 1999-2000 through the 2006-2007 academic years. Specifically downloaded were the Total 1-year, Total 2-year persistence rates, and graduation rates of Black Texas community college students. Findings Inferential statistical procedures revealed that the Total 1-year persistence rates of Black students at Texas community colleges had not changed over 15 years. Also revealed was that the Total 2-year persistence rates of Black students at Texas community colleges also remained changed over 15 years. Statistically significant differences were yielded in graduation rates between Black and Asian students, between Black and White students, and between Black and Hispanic students. In all analyses, Black students had statistically significantly lower graduation rates at Texas community colleges than their ethnic/racial peers. Also identified were the Texas community colleges that had the highest and lowest Total 1-year persistence rates, the highest and lowest Total 2-year persistence rates, and the best and lowest graduation rates of their Black students. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research were discussed.