Latino Higher Education_ A pipeline in need of repair - Appalachian

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					Recruitment and Retention
Strategies for Latino
Students in Tennessee’s
Private 4-year Institutions

Presented to the Tennessee Independent Colleges
                     and Universities Association

        By Carrie Abood, Darwin Mason, and Chris White
• TICUA's 34 member colleges and
  universities represent East, West,
  and Middle TN
• 76,000 students educated,
  representing every county in the
  state and all 50 states in the nation
  (24% total number of students
  attending college in TN)
Purpose of the Study
• …to identify the perceived effective
  strategies utilized by colleges and
  universities to recruit, retain, and
  graduate Latino students

• …specifically, to focus on how TICUA
  member institutions can recruit and
  retain Latino students in their
Significance of the Study
• Unique focus
 • Four-year private institution
 • Non-border state
• Pertinent focus
 • Population increase in the Southeast
 • Political and legal climate
• Personal focus
 • Qualitative study
 • Student perspectives
Significance of the Study
A Review of Literature
A Review of Literature
Research Questions
  • Q1: What factor(s) did Latino students
    in TICUA member institutions perceive
    as influential in their decision to enroll
    at a particular institution?

  • Q2: What factor(s) do Latino students
    in TICUA member institutions perceive
    as influential in their decision to
    persist at that institution?
Research Questions
  • Q3: What effective strategies should
    TICUA member institutions implement
    to recruit and enroll Latino students?

  • Q4: What effective strategies should
    TICUA member institutions implement
    to retain Latino students?
Methodology – Design
Methodology – Survey
Methodology – Data
Survey – the “big” picture
•From the 13 possible Yes/No/Unsure
questions, 8 of those had more No responses
than Yes
•Average number of Yes responses by an
institution: 5 out of 13
•Four institutions had 10+ Yes responses

 Implementation is occurring, but there is
   room to increase practices in TICUA
          member institutions
Focus Group and Interview Demographics
• Five themes emerged from
 • Administrative Commitment,
   Relationships, Financial Commitment,
   Intentionality, Student Support
• Four themes emerged from Focus
 • Financial Incentives, Institutional Fit,
   Campus Community, Influences
Findings – Interview Themes
• Mentioned by participants at all four
• “In word and deed”
• “Champion”
• “I want [the institution] to be, to come to a
  point where we don’t have to talk about
  diversity because we are diversity. I want us
  to be the leading example of it.”
Findings – Interview Themes
• Faculty-student relationships: “faculty
  availability,” “bicultural,” “mentoring”
• “You know, our faculty is not afraid to pull the
  students, out of class and say, okay, you’re
  slacking. And it’s not a, what are you dealing
  with what’s wrong with you. It’s okay, I see this.
  What’s going on? Is it life? Is it the class? Is it the
  professor? What could we do to help?”
Findings – Interview Themes
• Financial commitment was defined as the
  institution’s willingness to ensure financial
  resources are allocated for recruiting and
  retaining Latino, and other minority, students
• Manifested in values, budgets, and various
  means of providing financial assistance
• Direct aid to the student or allocation of funds
• Creative, flexible, case-by-case
Findings – Interview Themes
• Mentioned at all four case study institutions
• Intentionality and deliberativeness
  demonstrated value and showed priority to
  Latino students
• Examples: Formal diversity positions,
  Community partnerships, Family outreach,
  Development of faculty and staff
Findings – Interview Themes
• Student support services help to acclimate to
  college life and encourage retention

• Examples: Formal diversity office on campus,
  mentoring programs, community partnerships,
  and clubs that value diversity  
Findings – Focus Group

• Money was the most significant barrier for students
  when considering college
• Scholarships & grants specific to Latinos or
  students of color opened doors
   • “…the scholarship is really what got me here.”
• Undocumented students – greater reliance on
  private donors and institutional aid
Findings – Focus Group
• Specific codes: fate, welcoming, school size, comfort,
  Christian environment, relational, polite, and safety
• Environment
     • “I believe [the institution] not only helps grow the
       students academically, but also morally and
       spiritually, and I think that’s just a big part of
       being human after they get out of [the institution].
     • “It’s like we’re all family and most of the time we
       know each other because it’s a small campus.”
Findings – Focus Group
• Communion and Unity
   • “I think everyone is really, like, united.”
• Student-to-student
   • “The family that I formed here, that’s what makes
     me stay here.”
• Faculty-to-student
   • “I think the professors have a lot to do with it
     because the professors are incredibly open to speak
     to you, get to know you…invite you to their home.”
• Opportunities to engage the community off campus
Findings – Focus Group
• Institutional or Personal
   • Institutional Influences: prestige, mentoring,
     tutoring, Admissions recruiter, partnerships,
     organizations, professional connections
   • Personal Influences: Family, motivation for a better
     life, sense of obligation
       • “You stay in [home city], you go to the same
         community college that your mother went to…and
         you do like one of the five or six well-paying jobs
         there, you know, and then you get married and you
         have kids and your kids go to the same schools that
         you went to. It’s a cycle. It’s very much a cycle.”
• Institutional leaders demonstrate
  commitment to serving the Latino student
• Provide financial aid that is specific to
  Latino students
• Create a multicultural affairs department
  or office
• Develop community partnerships
• Increase the cultural competence of faculty
  and staff
Discussion Questions
• Which recommendation(s) would you
  implement at your institution?
• Does one recommendation stand out as most
  important for your institution? If so, why?
• Do you have a “champion” on campus, ready
  to implement your recommendations?
• What community partners exist in your area?
  How can you work with these partners to
  increase Latino enrollment and improve their
  experiences on campus?
• Which recommendation(s) seem “out of reach”
  for your institution right now? Why?

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