Advanced Degree Attainment as a Function of Race/Ethnicity in Texas Postsecondary Institutions Over Time: A Multiyear, Statewide Investigation
Hamrick, Tama S
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ABSTRACT Hamrick, Tama S., Advanced degree attainment as a function of race/ethnicity in Texas postsecondary institutions over time: A multiyear, statewide investigation. Doctor of Education (Higher Educational Leadership), December 2020, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. Purpose The overall purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to ascertain the extent to which progress occurred during the State of Texas’ Closing the Gaps by 2015 and the 60x30TX education initiatives. In particular, the purpose of this dissertation was to determine the degree to which changes were present in the numbers and percentages of advanced degrees awarded by public, 4-year postsecondary institutions in the State of Texas as a function of race/ethnicity. More specifically, the numbers and percentages of master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees awarded to White, Hispanic, and Black students from the 1999-2000 academic year through the 2018-2019 academic year were examined to determine whether statistically significant changes had occurred in the number of master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees awarded to the aforementioned racial/ethnic groups. Additionally, the purpose of this dissertation was to ascertain the extent to which trends were present in advanced degree attainment by White, Hispanic, and Black students from Texas public, 4-year postsecondary institutions from the 1999-2000 through the 2018-2019 academic years. Method The research design used herein was causal comparative in nature. Archival data were obtained from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Interactive Accountability website. The study involved downloading information on academic v years, race/ethnicity, and the numbers and percentages of master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and professional degrees awarded. Findings White students were awarded the highest numbers and percentages of master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and professional degrees from 1999-2000 through 2018-2019. Regarding master’s degrees, White students were awarded 20% fewer master’s degrees in 2018-2019 than in 1999-2000. The percentages of Master’s degrees awarded to Hispanic and Black students increased by 11.30% and 7.58%, respectively. In reference to doctoral degree attainment between 1999-2000 and 2018-2019, White students were awarded the highest numbers and percentages, followed by Hispanic students, and then Black students. Between 1999-2000 and 2018-2019, the percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to Hispanic students and to Black students increased by 11.07% and 9.39%, respectively. Concerning professional degrees, White students were awarded the highest numbers and percentages from 1999-2000 through 2018-2019. Hispanic students were awarded 13.65% more professional degrees in 2018-2019 than in 1999-2000.
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