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Differing Experiences of Hispanic-Latino Community College Students

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022344/00001

Material Information

Title: Differing Experiences of Hispanic-Latino Community College Students
Physical Description: 1 online resource (51 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Zerquera, Desiree
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: community, hispanic, latino, transfer
Educational Administration and Policy -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Educational Leadership thesis, M.A.E.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As Hispanics increasingly compose more and more of the U.S. population, it becomes even more imperative that we understand the educational pathways of Hispanics and the impacts different factors have in their educational attainment so that we may better facilitate their educational success to promote their societal and economic progress. Most Hispanics who pursue higher education do so through the community college in hopes of transferring to a four year college or university to obtain a bachelor's degree. Many of them never reach the point of transfer. Most studies on Hispanic-Latinos in community colleges study them as one collective group and fail to explore the different experiences of Hispanic-Latinos by subgroups, oftentimes overlooking the experiences of individuals. The purpose of this study was to expand on the understanding of how multiple Hispanic-Latino subgroups vary in terms of background, educational aspirations, and academic preparation in their preparation for transfer. Based on a secondary analysis of data collected from the Los Angeles Community College District, a descriptive and exploratory analysis was used to look at the differences between different Latino subgroups in terms of student background, aspirations, academic preparation, and transfer readiness. Findings from the analysis showed great differences between the subgroups in all areas. This supports a need for further research which looks at Hispanics not as a merged group, but as distinct cultures with varying experiences and influences.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Desiree Zerquera.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.E.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hagedorn, Linda.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022344:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022344/00001

Material Information

Title: Differing Experiences of Hispanic-Latino Community College Students
Physical Description: 1 online resource (51 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Zerquera, Desiree
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: community, hispanic, latino, transfer
Educational Administration and Policy -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Educational Leadership thesis, M.A.E.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As Hispanics increasingly compose more and more of the U.S. population, it becomes even more imperative that we understand the educational pathways of Hispanics and the impacts different factors have in their educational attainment so that we may better facilitate their educational success to promote their societal and economic progress. Most Hispanics who pursue higher education do so through the community college in hopes of transferring to a four year college or university to obtain a bachelor's degree. Many of them never reach the point of transfer. Most studies on Hispanic-Latinos in community colleges study them as one collective group and fail to explore the different experiences of Hispanic-Latinos by subgroups, oftentimes overlooking the experiences of individuals. The purpose of this study was to expand on the understanding of how multiple Hispanic-Latino subgroups vary in terms of background, educational aspirations, and academic preparation in their preparation for transfer. Based on a secondary analysis of data collected from the Los Angeles Community College District, a descriptive and exploratory analysis was used to look at the differences between different Latino subgroups in terms of student background, aspirations, academic preparation, and transfer readiness. Findings from the analysis showed great differences between the subgroups in all areas. This supports a need for further research which looks at Hispanics not as a merged group, but as distinct cultures with varying experiences and influences.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Desiree Zerquera.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.E.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hagedorn, Linda.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022344:00001


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PAGE 1

DIFFERING EXPERIENCES OF HISP ANIC-LATINO COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS By DESIREE D. ZERQUERA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 1

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2008 Desiree D. Zerquera 2

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To my sister, Jenny, and the many like her who refu se to give in to lifes obstacles and who persevere in hopes of achieving th eir own Hispanic-American dream. 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my professors and committee chai rs, Dr. Linda S. Hagedorn and Dr. Luis Ponjuan, for their patience and dedication to my su ccess, and who saw in me things I could not. Additionally, I would not be here if not for the support given to me from my family who continue to be the strength a nd inspiration fueling my educati onal pursuits. I also thank my colleagues and scholars at the Un iversity of Florida who have accompanied me on this part of my journey. Lastly, I thank my students and family at my home away from home who are a daily reminder of the worth of my work. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7 ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................................8 CHAPTER 1 PROBLEM AND UNDERLYING FRAMEWORK..............................................................10 Introduction .............................................................................................................................10 Background and the Statement of the Problem ......................................................................11 Purpose of the Study ...............................................................................................................14 Research Question ..................................................................................................................14 Methodology ...........................................................................................................................14 Assumptions ...........................................................................................................................15 Limitations ..............................................................................................................................15 Delimitations ...........................................................................................................................16 Definition of Terms ................................................................................................................16 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE........................................................................................18 Introduction .............................................................................................................................18 Community Colleges .......................................................................................................18 The Transfer Function of the Community College.........................................................19 Transfer Readiness ..........................................................................................................21 Hispanic-Latino Community College Students ...............................................................22 Barriers/Markers to Transfer for Hispanic-Latino Students ............................................23 Hispanic Diversity ...........................................................................................................24 Conclusions and Implications .................................................................................................25 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY...........................................................................................27 Research Question ..................................................................................................................27 Population and Sample ...........................................................................................................27 Measures .................................................................................................................................29 Background Variables .....................................................................................................29 Academic Aspirations .....................................................................................................31 Academic Preparation .....................................................................................................31 Transfer Readiness ..........................................................................................................32 Analytic Method .....................................................................................................................33 Limitations ..............................................................................................................................33 5

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4 FINDINGS..................................................................................................................... .........36 Student Background ................................................................................................................36 Academic Aspirations .............................................................................................................36 Academic Preparation .............................................................................................................37 Transfer Readiness ..................................................................................................................38 5 DISCUSSION................................................................................................................... ......41 Significance of Findings .........................................................................................................42 Recommendations...................................................................................................................44 LIST OF REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................46 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .........................................................................................................51 6

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Hispanic-Latino frequencies and percenta ges by subgroup. .................................................35 3-2. Age by Latino subgroup ........................................................................................................35 3-3. Variables used in the data analysis by variable name, type, and scale used for coding. .......35 4-1. Parents highest level of educa tional attainment by Latino subgroup, N=1,999. ..................39 4-2. Parents OSS by Latino subgroup, N=1,890. ........................................................................39 4-3. Aspirations toward tran sfer to a four-year college or university by Latino subgroup, N=2,142. ............................................................................................................................39 4-4. Aspirations toward bachel ors degree by Latino subgroup, N=2,137. ..................................39 4-5. Highest degree aspira tions by Latino subgroup, N=2,199. ...................................................40 4-6. Highest English placement by Latino subgroup, N=1,710. ...................................................40 4-7. Highest mathematics pl acement by Latino subgroup, N=1,710. ...........................................40 4-8. Number of remedial c ourses taken by Latino subgroup, N=2,138. .......................................40 4-9. Number of IGETC modules completed by Latino subgroup, N=2,138. ...............................40 7

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts DIFFERING EXPERIENCES OF HISP ANIC-LATINO COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS By Desiree D. Zerquera August 2008 Chair: Linda S. Hagedorn Major: Educational Leadership As Hispanics increasingly compose more and more of the U.S. population, it becomes even more imperative that we understand the educational pathways of Hispanics and the impacts different factors have in their educational attainment so that we may better facilitate their educational success to promote their societal and economic progress. Most Hispanics who pursue higher education do so through the commun ity college in hopes of transferring to a four year college or universit y to obtain a bachelors degree. Many of them never reach the point of transfer. Most studies on Hispanic-Latinos in commun ity colleges study them as one collective group and fail to explore the different experiences of Hispanic-Latinos by subgroups, oftentimes overlooking the experien ces of individuals. The purpose of this study was to expand on the understanding of how multiple Hispanic-La tino subgroups vary in terms of background, educational aspirations, and academic preparation in their preparation for transfer. Based on a secondary analysis of data collected from the Los Angeles Community College District, a descriptive and exploratory analys is was used to look at the differences be tween different Latino subgroups in terms of student background, aspi rations, academic preparation, and transfer 8

PAGE 9

readiness. Findings from the analysis showed great differences betw een the subgroups in all areas. This supports a need for further research which looks at Hispanics not as a merged group, but as distinct cultures with va rying experiences and influences. 9

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CHAPTER 1 PROBLEM AND UNDERLYING FRAMEWORK Introduction More than 35 million Hispanic-Latinos liv e in the United States, surpassing African Americans as the largest minority group in the U. S. (Pew Hispanic Center, 2006). By the year 2050, it is projected that 25% of residents of the United States will be of Hispanic-Latino origin (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). As baby boomers retire between now and 2025, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of white, non-Hispanic workers will decline by 5 million, whereas the number of working aged Hispanic-La tinos will increase by 18 million (2004). It is predicted that the types of careers and occupation s these Latinos will have is determined by the education young Latinos receive today (Valladares, 2003). Undoubtedly, obtaining a college education is essential for economic success in the United States, and enhances the quality of life for individuals, their families, and the larger society as a whole (Kuh, Cruce, Shoup, Kinzie, & Gonyea, 2007; Castellanos & Jones, 2003). In addition, states with significant numbers of Latinos, such as California, Texas, and Florida, rely on the educational preparedness of Latinos fo r economic and social stability (Martinez & Fernandez, 2004). Although 66% of Hispanic high school graduates participate in higher education, two-thirds of these students never receiv e a bachelors degree (Swail, Cabrera, & Lee, 2004), and approximately 60% of them begin their postsecondary careers at two-year institutions (Fry, 2004). Many Hispanics initially enroll in co mmunity colleges in hopes of utilizing them as a gateway to obtaining a bachelors degree (Mar tinez & Fernandez, 2004; Hoachlander, Sikora, & Horn, 2003). However, the predilection of Hisp anics to enroll in these institutions decreases their level of bachelors degree completion, as only 18.9% successfully transfer from two to 10

PAGE 11

four-year institutions, compared to 31.9% of thei r community college counterparts (Swail, et al., 2004). Background and the Statement of the Problem Hispanic-Latino demographics show that they have recently become the majorityminority in the United States. In this past deca de alone, Hispanics accounted for one-half of the nations growth, and make up 14.8% of the tota l U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). California, and particularly Los Angeles County, has the highest percenta ge of Hispanic-Latino residents of any other state or county in the U.S., with 47.3% of the county being of HispanicLatino background (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). The state and local economies of these regions, and others in which Hispanics compose a large percentage of the population, rely on the careers and occupations, and in turn the educational at tainment, of these indi viduals (Kuh, et al., 2007; Martinez & Fernandez, 2004; Ca stellanos & Jones, 2003). In the United States, 27% of the general popu lation has a bachelors degree or higher; for Hispanics, that number is less than half as mu ch, at merely 12.3% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). This poses great concern as to the possibility of upwards mobility of this group of people which is overrepresented in the lowest tier of society. A lthough great attainment gaps exist in the K-12 system for Hispanic-Latinos, of those who do gr aduate from high school more enroll in some form of postsecondary education as compared to the total high school graduate population% of Hispanic high school graduates versus 7% of the total populati on (Fry, 2002). The majority of these students elect community colleges as th eir postsecondary gateway, and enroll in these institutions in greater proporti ons than any other racial-ethnic group (Swail, et al., 2004; Horn, Peter, & Rooney, 2002; Fry, 2002; L ee & Frank, 1990; Nora, 1987). Although the community college serves a variet y of functions outside of transfer, many Hispanics attend these types of institutions in ho pes of obtaining a bachelors degree (Martinez 11

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& Fernandez, 2004; Hagedorn, & Cepeda, 2004; Suarez, 2003; Fry, 2002; McCormick & Carroll, 1997). Closer proximity to home and lower tuition costs have been found as primary reasons as to why Hispanics choose community co lleges over four-year colle ges and universities (Arbona & Nora, 2007; Fry, 2002). Despite these baccalaureate aspirations, only a small percent of Hispanics actually persist th rough the community college system to transfer to a four-year institution, a prerequisite for bachelors degree attainment (Arbona & Nora, 2007). The literature cites low socioeconomic status (Wassmer, Moore, & Shulock, 2004; Swail, et al., 2004; Adelman, 1999), firstgeneration college student status (Swail, et al., 2004; Harrell & Forney, 2003), and lack of knowledge regarding educational system processes, such as that of financial aid and transfer (Cha ng, 2005), as barriers to successful transfer for Hispanic-Latino community college students. Additional barriers include the need to balance multiple roles and responsibilities outside of their role as a stude nt (Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004), lack of academic preparation due to inadequate K-12 systems (Hurtado & Kamimura, 2003; Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004), and remedial education course require ments (Laden, 2004; Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004; Schmidt, 2003). Successful students are those who can overcome these barriers and others in order to increase their chances of successfully transferring to a four-year college to pursue their academic aspirations. To provide background for this study and discuss the current research landscape, several bodies of literature concerning Hispanic-Latinos in higher ed ucation were reviewed. In particular, studies which focused on Hispanics at community colleges were the primary area of interest. In addition, demographi cs and the condition of educati on for Hispanic-Latinos in the United States are presented. Moreover, the review of the literature extends to include topics 12

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related to community colleges, transfer, and transfer readiness. It concludes with a discussion of a lack of literature regarding the diff erences between Hispanic-Latino subgroups. The problem with the disproportionate rate s of Hispanic-Lati no success in higher education and the pathways they choose in order to achieve a baccalaureate degree is a grave one which impacts the greater soci ety. Of the over 200,000 Hispanic-Latino high school graduates who begin their postsecondary education at community colleges each year, 66% are academically prepared enough to attend more sel ective institutions (Fry, 2004; Swail, et al., 2004), and a great number of them utilize these institutions in hopes of persisting towards a bachelors degree (Martinez & Fe rnandez, 2004; Hoachlander, et al., 2003). Thus, it would be expected that they would successfully persist th rough the community college system to transfer and achieve their baccala ureate aspirations, yet they do not. Less than 20% of these students successfully transfer from their initial two-year institutions to four-year colleges and universities, compared to 32% of the general community co llege student population (Swail, et al., 2004) Transfer for community college students to f our-year institutions is a highly researched problem in educational research for students of all racial and et hnic groups (Townsend & Wilson, 2006). However, most studies evaluate ac tual transfer and not transfer readiness, a better measure of the role community colleges play in preparing students to achieve their academic aspirations (Hagedorn, Moon, Cypers, Maxwell, & Lester, 2006). There is a deficiency in the literature in recognizing and assessing transfer re adiness, which is a measure of students progress through the community college. It is considered to yiel d less error than actual transfer measures, can be easily verified through transcript analysis, and is not limited to the restricting time spans of many studies (Hagedorn & Lester, 2006) Transfer readiness also allows for more accountability on th e part of the institution, as it is up to the student to persist to 13

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transfer and is not the responsibility of the community colle ge (Hagedorn & Lester, 2006). In addition, there is a lack of focus in the lite rature which examines the differences between Hispanic-Latino students of vary ing ethnicities and nati onalities, particularly for students at the community college. Of those studies which focus on one ethnic group focus exclusively on Chicanos and Mexican-Americans (i.e., Clay ton, K.K., and others, 1993; Nora, 1987). Purpose of the Study Most studies on Hispanic-Latinos in commun ity colleges study them as one collective group (i.e. Arbona & Nora, 2007; Martinez & Fern andez, 2004; Hoachlander, Sikora, & Horn, 2003) and fail to explore the different experiences of Hispanic-Latinos by subgroups, oftentimes overlooking the experiences of individuals (Torres, 2004). The purpose of this study is to expand upon the understanding of how multiple Hisp anic-Latino subgroups vary in terms of background, educational aspirations, and academic prep aration in their preparation for transfer. Research Question How do Hispanic-Latino subgroups vary in te rms of background, edu cational aspirations, and academic preparation in their preparation for transfer? Methodology This study employs descriptive and exploratory analysis of data that has been collected, analyzed, and validated by the Transfer and Re tention of Urban Community College (TRUCCS) project. TRUCCS used questionn aire survey and transcript data of 4,967 students from all nine institutions within the Los A ngeles Community College Distri ct (LACCD) and investigated organizational and individual factors which adva nce the retention and persistence of urban community college students in Los Angeles, of which approximately half are of Hispanic-Latino background (Hagedorn, & Maxwell, 1999). For more information regarding the survey design and data collection by TRUCCS, please see Research on Urban Community College Transfer 14

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and Retention: The Los Angeles TRUCCS Project (Hagedorn & Maxwell, 1999). Data for the individual variables involved in the study were collected solely from the TRUCCS Project, and descriptive analysis is used to describe the study sample with individual characteristics and transcript data and to explore how well the data addressed the rese arch question of this study. As many studies view Hispanics as one group and overlook differences in experiences between Hispanic subgroups (Gonzalez Burchar, et al., 2005; Torres, 2004; Torres, 2003), the objective of this study is to describe Hispanic-Lati no community college students by subgroups and the differences between their educati onal experiences, particularly as they prepare for transfer. Individual variables in this study are: background, which includes age, parental educational attainment and family socioeconomic status; e ducational aspirations, wh ich includes anticipation of a bachelors degree and/or transfer; academ ic preparation, including placement scores and remedial course enrollments; and transfer read iness, as defined by successful completion of transfer curriculum courses. Assumptions The following assumptions were used in this study: 1. The measures employed are reliable and valid indicators of the constructs to be studied. 2. The survey and transcript data being used was accurately recorded and analyzed. 3. The subjects were assessed in an appropriate atmosphere and responded to survey questions to the best of their ability. 4. The purposes, processes, and elements of the framework studied have a degree of applicability and generalizabil ity to Hispanic-Latino commun ity college students in urban districts throughout the U.S. Limitations 1. This study is limited to subjects who participated in the TRUCCS survey. 2. This study is limited to the number of subject s surveyed and the am ount of time available to conduct the study. 15

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3. Validity of this study is limited to the reliab ility of the TRUCCS survey instruments used and the reliability of the participants responses to the survey instruments. Delimitations This study is a secondary data analysis of data collected and analyzed by the TRUCCS Project, which used questionnaire survey and tr anscript data of 4,967 students from all nine institutions within the Los Angeles Commun ity College District (LACCD) (Hagedorn & Maxwell, 1999). This study will confine itself to studying Hispanic-Latino participants in the TRUCCS project, and will focus on background, e ducational aspirations, academic preparation, and transfer readiness, as defined below. Definition of Terms Transfer readiness: a measure of the fulfillmen t of academic requirements for eligibility to be accepted into a four-year institution and to be considered at junior year status. In this study, transfer readiness is measured by the progression through certain IGETC course modules. Transfer: there are various types of transfer, but in this study transfer is defined as the act of enrolling and attending a four-year colle ge or university after first attending and earning college credits at a community college. IGETC: Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Common core curriculum of general educa tion courses with the purpose of easing the process of transfer from community colleges to the public university and state college systems in the state of California. Academic aspirations : highest academic degree hoped to obtain by student. For community college students, this includes vocati onal certificate, associ ate degree, bachelors degree, masters degree, doctoral degree, or professional degrees. 16

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Remedial education : academic preparatory courses which are considered to be below the college level, and are generally offered in mathematics, English, and reading in order to prepare students to take college level courses. Hispanic-Latino : the terms Hispanic, Latino and Hispanic-Latino are used interchangeably throughout this paper in orde r to describe individuals who are from or descendent of the countries of Spain, South and Central Amer ica, and the Spanish speaking countries of the Caribbean. Mexican : Mexican refers specifically to individuals who were born in Mexico. Mexican-American/Chicano : used for individuals born in the United States to Mexican or Mexican-American parents. Central American : individuals with b ackgrounds of the countries of Central America, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Nicar agua, and others. Can be born in the United States to parents or gr andparents who are from Central American countries. South American: individuals with backgrounds of the countries of South America, including Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, and others. Can be born in the United States to parents or grandparen ts who are from Sout h American countries. Multiethnic : used to encompass individuals of multiple Hispanic-Latino, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, including biracial and multiracial persons. Other : includes individuals from other Hi spanic-Latino countries not identified, including Spain and the Spanish spea king countries of the Caribbean. 17

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction To conflate cultures is to de stroy them; to take away the name of a group, as of an individual, is to make pale the ex istence of the group. (Shorris, 1992, pp. xvi) Many Hispanics initially enroll in commun ity colleges in hopes of utilizing these institutions as a gateway to obtaining a bachelors degree (Martinez & Fernandez, 2004; Hoachlander, et al., 2003). However, the pr edilection of Hispanic s to enroll in these institutions decreases their le vel of bachelors degree comp letion (Swail, et al., 2004). Due to the nature of community colleges, the di fficulties involved in the transfer process, and several barriers specific to Hispanic-L atino students, Hispanic community college students are not persisting thr ough to the bachelors degree at the same rate as other types of students (KewalRamania, Gilbertson, Fox, & Provasnik, 2007; Swail, Cabrera, Lee, & Williams, 2005; Hoachlander, et al., 2003; Fry, 2002). Therefore, this review provides an exhaustive description of the extant research literature on Hispanic-Latino students in the community college system. First, I will discuss the unique contributions community colleges provide student who wish to tr ansition from high school to postsecondary education. Next, I will focus on the transfer and transfer readiness issues related to Hispanic-Latino students. I will then exam ine the unique status of Hispanic-Latino students as community college students and the unique challenges associated with pursuing a postsecondary degree. The sect ion concludes with a discussion on the diversity among Hispanic-Latinos. Community Colleges The community college is a uniquely American institution, with its earliest campuses not just over 100 years old. They currently enroll over 11 million students nationwide, composing 18

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almost half of all undergraduates in higher ed ucation (American Association of Community Colleges [AACC], 2007). These institutions are de signed to prepare students for transfer to senior institutions by offering general education courses in smalle r class settings and at a lower cost than would be found at four-year colleges and universities (Bos well, 2004; McCormick & Carroll, 1997). In addition, they serve the purpose of providing job training, vocational certificates, and terminal associates degrees (Dougherty & Kienzl, 2006 ; Hoachlander, et al., 2003). Community colleges have long been the institu tion of choice for olde r adults, students of color, those from less affluent family b ackgrounds, immigrants, and part-time, commuting students who have full-time jobs and family responsibilities (Boswell, 2004; Chang, 2005). They are viewed as a source of open access a nd great opportunity, with perhaps their most important function being that of providing access to ethn ic and racial minorities, first-generation, and low-income students (Rendon, 2000). Due to th e nature and accessibility of the community college, many of the students w ho choose to attend two-year co lleges may be less academically prepared than those who begin at four-year in stitutions (Sandy, Gonzal ez, & Hilmer, 2006). Far too many students enroll in these co lleges with intentions of pursu ing to a bachelors degree, and do not obtain these degrees within a reasonable period of time, wasting their personal time and money, as well as that of the state (Boswell, 2004 ). Even still, the transfer function of the community college plays a great role in mainta ining access to higher education for those students who may not be eligible for four-year or university admissi on immediately after high school (Laanan, 2001). The Transfer Function of the Community College Transfer to a four-year institution is a prer equisite for community college students who aspire towards a bachelors degree (Arbona, & Nora, 2007). Not all students who begin their 19

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postsecondary education at community colleges ha ve the same goals (Wirt, et al., 2004) and many students begin at two-year coll eges with goals other than transfer. However, interest in the transfer function has regained strength in the past decade or so, as it still remains a very important function of the community college (D ougherty & Kienzl, 2006). Community colleges remain an important and necessary option as students pursue thei r goals of obtaining a baccalaureate degree. These pursuits are often diffi cult when external forces such as increasing numbers of high school graduates, increasingl y competitive admissions requirements, greater cost of tuition at fou r-year colleges and univers ities, and greater numbers of minorities and lowincome students pursuing college degrees (Wellman, 2002). A large proportion of students begin at two-year institutions to take advantage of the academic transfer function, of which only a handful actually successfully tr ansfer to a four-year institution (Hoachlander, et al., 2003; Laan an, 2003; Adelman, 1999; McCormick & Carroll, 1997). However, the bachelors attainment rate fo r those who successfully transfer to a four-year college or university is fairly high (Adelman, 1999), which demonstrates transfer as a salient option for many students. The greatest hurdle for community college studen ts who aspire for the baccalaureate is reaching the point of transfer in spite of the many obstacles the face. Student transfer to a four-year institution has be en found to be strongly influenced by student background and socioeconomic status (Lee & Fra nk, 1990). Additional res earch has found much of the impact of social background on transf er to be indirect a nd operating through the intervening variables of parent al socioeconomic status, age, gender, and race-ethnicity (Dougherty & Kienzl, 2006). Pare ntal socioeconomic status and education level have been found to be strongly associated with whether or not community college students successfully transfer to four-year colleges (Doug herty & Kienzl, 2006; Laanan, 2003). 20

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Transfer Readiness An alternative to measuring actual student tran sfer is to evaluate transfer readiness. Transfer readiness is defined as a measure of the progress of a community college student on the path to transfer while s till enrolled in the community college (Hagedorn & Lester, 2006, p.835), and is a measure of the fulfillment of acade mic requirements for eligibility to be accepted into a four-year institution and to be considered at junior year status. It is c onsidered to have less error, can be easily verified th rough transcript analysis, and due to its continuous nature, is not limited to restricting time spans, as tends to be true of many transf er studies (Hagedorn, & Lester, 2006). Transfer may occur at any point in a students life, and there may be several years separation between community college enrollme nt, completion, and transfer. In 1988, the California postsecondary education systems were mandated by California policymakers to collaboratively create a universal core general education curricul um for the purpose of easing the process of transfer (Cepeda, 1991). As a result the Intersegmental Gene ral Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) was created, a common curriculum consisting of a variety of courses in six different subject areas: Englis h Communication, Mathematics, Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Physical and Biological Sciences, and a Fo reign Language. Courses must be completed with a passing grade of C or be tter (Assist, n.d.). Although not required for transfer, successful completion of IGETC promises community college students transf er to either the California State University (CSU) or Universi ty of California (UC) system without needing to take additional general education courses to fulfill graduation requirements once at the CSU or UC institution (Cepeda, 1991). Community college students with tr ansfer aspirations are advised to complete IGETC (Assist, n.d.). Several studi es (Hagedorn, et al., 2006; Hagedorn & Lester, 2006) use IGETC module completion as a means of measuring transfer read iness in California. 21

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Hispanic-Latino Community College Students Hispanic-Latinos enroll in community colle ges in greater propor tions than any other racial-ethnic group (Swail, et al., 2004; Horn, et al., 2002; Fry, 2002; Lee & Frank, 1990; Nora, 1987), and attend these institutions as a means of obtaining a bachelors degree (Martinez & Fernandez, 2004; Hagedorn & Cepeda, 2004; Suarez, 2003; Fry, 2002; McCormick & Carroll, 1997). Students who begin their postsecondary education at community colleges have been labeled in the literature as be ing of lower quality (Sandy, et al., 2006). However, lack of academic preparation for a four-year institution do es not adequately reflect Hispanic community college students reasons for choos ing to initially enroll in these institutions. Research has indicated that many Hispanic community college students are sufficiently academically qualified to attend four-year institutions directly followi ng high school, but opt to begin at a community college (Swail, et al., 2004). Closer proximity to home and lower tui tion costs have been reported as primary reasons why Hispanics ma y choose community colleges over four-year colleges and universities (A rbona & Nora, 2007; Fry, 2002). Still, attrition rates for Hispanics in community colleges remain high (Fry, 2004; Hoachlander, et al., 2003; Garcia, 2001) and of a gr eat concern for administ rators, policy makers, and researchers. Alt hough more Hispanics than African Americans/Blacks are enrolled in postsecondary institutions, Hispanic s lag in bachelors degree at tainment rates (KewalRamania, et al., 2007). Transfer prepara tion and the transfer experience of Hispanic-Latino community college students continue to be of concer n due to the lagging nu mbers of Latinos who successfully transfer to four-y ear institutions (Laden, 2004). Hispanic students face unique challenges in their pathway towards a bachelors degree (Swail, et al., 20 04). These students are 22

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more likely to be of first generation, need remedial education, and have th e highest rate of parttime attendance (Swail, et al., 2005 ; Horn, et al., 2002). Studies of community college transfer have found that a need for remedial education at community colleges si gnificantly increased a students risk of leaving the institution (C lagett, 1996; Voorhees, 1993), which poses an additional difficulty for the large percentage of community college Hispanic students who require remedial education before taking transf er level coursework. In addition, Hispanic students are more concerned about academic ab ility and finances, work longer hours, and are more likely to work for personal or family obligat ions than students of any other racial-ethnic group (Longerbeam & Sedlacek, 2004). Barriers/Markers to Transfer for Hispanic-Latino Students Hispanic community college students face uni que challenges in their pathways towards transfer, as they are more likely to be firstgeneration college students and have parents with little to no knowledge on the coll ege experience (Swail, et al., 2004; Harrell & Forney, 2003), be of lower socioeconomic status (Wassmer, et al., 2004; Swail, et al., 2004; Adelman, 1999), balance multiple roles and responsibilities outside of their role as a student (Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004), arrive from primary and seco ndary educational systems which do not prepare them adequately for postsecondary education (Hurtado & Kamimura, 2003; Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004), require remedial education courses (Laden, 2004; Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004; Schmidt, 2003), and lack knowledge of educational sy stem processes, such as that of financial aid and transfer (Chang, 2005). In addition, many of these students go through their educational experiences with high levels of self-doubt regarding their academic ability (Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004; Wolf-Wendell, Twombly, Morphe w, & Socich, 2004). Interestingly however, several studies have found that these factors which have posed as barriers for some students serve as a catalyst towards success for others (Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004; Suarez, 2003). 23

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Some markers for successful transfer for Hi spanic students include rigorous high school curriculum, high academic preparedness, and pre-college achievement (Arbona & Nora, 2007; Wassmer, et al., 2004; Harrell & Forney, 2003; Adel man, 1999), little to no delay of entry into postsecondary education following high school graduation (Arbona & Nora, 2007; Dougherty & Kienzl, 2006; Hoachlander, et al ., 2003), continuous postsecondary enrollment, institutional and goal commitments, and academic integration (Arbona & Nora, 2007). Conversely, Hispanic two-year college students have been found to be less academically prepared, delay entry into postsecondary education, attend discontinuously, and attend college on a part-time basis in greater numbers than students of other racial-e thnic groups (KewalRamania, et al, 2007; Swail, et al., 2004; Fry, 2002). These soci al and background variables are e ffective in gaining a better understanding of the factors which need to be considered when a dvising or researching HispanicLatino community college students. Cross-sectiona l studies fail to recogn ize that many students, in particular Hispanic-Latino community colle ge students, attend school part-time and take remedial courses, prolonging their time to tr ansfer. Additionally, many studies on community college students research enrollment within tw o years of high school gr aduation (for example, Hoachlander, et al., 2003; Lee & Frank, 1990), whic h fails to consider the large numbers of community college students and Hispanics who delay entry into commun ity colleges and choose to enroll well into their twen ties and beyond. Moreover, self-reported data from students is not reliable in terms of attendance patterns (Ade lman, 1999), nor can it completely speak to the course taking patterns or successful course completion rates of these students. Hispanic Diversity Although much research has been done on Hispanics in higher education, many Hispanic studies have been conducted on popula tions which are mostly Mexican or Chicano/a (Torres, 2004). Latinos differ in terms of attitudes, beliefs, and experiences (Gonzalez Burchar, 24

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et al., 2005; Torres, 2004; Torre s, 2003; Broadie, Steffenson, Valdez, Levin, & Suro, 2002; Ferdman & Gallegos, 2001), and bring these varied perspectives with them to colleges. If institutions of higher education hope to succeed in at tracting, retaining, and graduating Latinos, they must understand these differen ces (Torres, 2003). More research is needed on the diversity among Hispanics in higher educatio n (Torres, 2004), and in particular, at the community college where the majority of Hispanics in pursuit of high er education enroll, and yet where the literature remains the most silent. Conclusions and Implications Previous research on Hispanic-Latino community college students indicates the many challenges and barriers they face in their pathwa y towards achieving their academic aspirations of a bachelors degree or higher. Many not onl y do not reach their tran sfer goals, but are not adequately prepared academically by their sec ondary schools to perform at the postsecondary level, nor are they being readied during their tim e at the community for tr ansfer to a four-year institution. More needs to be done by the two-year institutions in order to help facilitate the preparation for transfer of thes e students. In accordance with Hagedorn and associates (2006), more assessment of student transf er readiness as oppose to actual tr ansfer is needed. Aside from the inaccurate measures of community co llege student outcomes (Mudhenk, 2000), transfer readiness places more responsibility on the in stitution, whereas actual transfer is the responsibility of the student and can occur at any time during a st udents life (Hagedorn, et al, 2006; Hagedorn, & Lester, 2006). Additionally, as the Hispanic-Latino population in the United States grows and diversifies, mo re research is needed on the di versity among Hispanics in order to identify an address the unique needs and ch allenges of Hispanics of varying subgroups. The purpose of this study is to expand upon the understanding of how multiple HispanicLatino subgroups vary in terms of bac kground, educational aspirations, and academic 25

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preparation in their preparation for transfer. Th e information gathered from this study will be beneficial in filling a large gap in Hispanic-L atino higher education research and understanding, and can be used to better recognize and ameliorate the distinctive challe nges faced by HispanicLatinos as they pursue college education. 26

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CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The purpose of this study is to expand upon the understanding of how multiple HispanicLatino subgroups vary in terms of bac kground, educational aspirations, and academic preparation in their preparation for transfer. This chapter revisits the research question and discusses the study population and sample, variables of interest, a nd a description of the data analysis. Research Question How do Hispanic-Latino subgroups vary in term s of background, educatio nal aspirations, and academic preparation in their preparation for transfer? Population and Sample This study used data from the Transfer and Retention of Urban Community College Students (TRUCCS) project. TRUCCS used questionnaire survey and tran script data of 4, 967 students from all nine institutions colleges with in the Los Angeles Community College District and investigated organizational and individua l factors which advan ce the retention and persistence of urban community college students in Los Angeles, of which approximately half are of Hispanic-Latino background (Hagedorn & Ma xwell, 1999). Los Angeles County has the largest proportion of Hispanics of any other county in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). In the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), Hispanics compose almost half (48%), of all credit-seeki ng students (Los Angeles Commun ity College District [LACCD], 2008), and about 37% of these students successfully tr ansfer to either a Un iversity of California (24.1%) or California State Univ ersity (45.7%) campus (LACCD, 2008) For more details on the survey design and data collection by TRUCCS, please see Research on Urban Community 27

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College Transfer and Retention: The Los Angeles TRUCCS Project (Hagedorn & Maxwell, 1999). For this study, TRUCCS participants b ecame the experimentally accessible population from which I sampled. The sample included those participants who identified as being a part of at least one Hispanic-Latino subgroup in the TR UCCS survey. Question 30 in the survey asked, what is your ethnic grou p(s)?, and participants were asked to mark all that apply. The survey included five options for Hispanic-Latinos: Mexican, Mexican-American/Chicano, South American, Central America, and Other Latino/Hispan ic. After gathering all participants who had at least one of the Hispanic-Latino options ma rked, data was then conditioned so that the categories of Mexican, Mexican-American/Chica no, South American, and Central American included only those individuals who selected onl y one option for ethnicity (i.e. only marked Mexican, or only marked South American). Individuals who marked multiple options for ethnicity, including multiple Hispanic options, were grouped with the individuals who marked Other Latino/Hispanic (i.e. an individual who marked both Chinese and Central American and an individual who marked South American, Ce ntral American, and Mexican would be grouped in the Multiethnic/Other Hispanic-Latino category). Participants who did not mark either of the Hispanic-Latino options were not used in the sample. The sample consisted of 2,227 participants with the following ethnic breakdown: 568 individuals, or 25.5% of the sample were Mexican; 818 individuals, or 36.7% of the sample identified as Mexican-American/Chicano; 83 par ticipants identified as South American, making up 3.7% of the sample; 496 participants indicated that they were Central American, composing 22.3% of the sample; and a total of 262 individu als, or 11.8% of the sample, were either multiethnic or identified as belonging to anothe r Latino subgroup. Table 3-1 shows frequencies 28

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for each Latino ethnic group. Of the total sample, 39.5% were male and 60.5% were female. Overall, the majority of the sample, over 60%, wa s of traditional college age, between 18 and 24 years old. Between groups, multiethnic and othe r Latinos had the highest percentage, 72.7%, of traditional aged students, with South Americans having the least at 45.8%. Conversely, South Americans had the highest percentage of st udents over the age of 40, with 19.3% of South Americans in the sample. Mexican-Americans had the lowest percentage, at nearly 4%. Table 3-2 shows age categories by Latino ethnic group. Measures The variables of interest in this desc riptive analysis we re background, academic aspirations, academic preparati on, and transfer readiness. Background variables included parental education and family socioeconomic status. Academic aspirations were measured by anticipation of transfer, anticip ation of a bachelors degree, and highest degree aspirations. Academic preparation was assessed by transcript data variables, which included placement tests results in English and mathematics, and number of remedial educati on courses taken by the student. The last measure, transfer readiness, was derived from transc ript data previously conditioned and analyzed through the TRUCCS project, and quan tified by the number of IGETC modules completed by the student. Please refer to Table 3-3 for an explanation and clarification of variables used, variable t ype, and scale used for each. Background Variables The background variables in the study were m easured through survey responses from the TRUCCS survey. They included parental education and fam ily socioeconomic status. According to the literature, Hispanics are more likely to be first-generation college students and have parents with little to no knowledge on the college experience (Swail et al., 2004; Harrell & Forney, 2003), which has been found to serve as a barrier to students in their educational 29

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pathways. Parental education wa s a self-reported res ponse to the question: What is the highest level of formal education obtained by your parents either in the U.S. or in another country?. The responses were recoded so that those w ho dropped out of school before or during high school, those who completed high school with a di ploma or equivalent degree, or those who were unsure, were given a value of Thos e who had taken some college courses at both the two and four year levels, or completed a commun ity college or four-year degree were assigned a value of The remaining who persisted to gr aduate or professional sc hool were given a value of even if they did not complete their gradua te degree. For the anal ysis, I chose the highest educational attainment level betw een the mother and father. Related to educational attainment, family in come and socioeconomic status have been found in the literature to impact Hispanic-Latino persistence, retention, and transfer, with Hispanics tending to be of lower socioeconomic levels (Dougherty & Kienzl, 2006; Longerbeam & Sedlacek, 2004; Wassmer, et al., 2004; Swail, et al., 2004; Adelman, 1999). In order to address this, a variable calcula ting the parents occupational stat us score (OSS) was used and is based on the percentage of incomes at a certain level, and also reflects completion of a certain level of education and prestige of various occupations (Nams & Terrie, 1994). OSS scores were derived from self-reported open responses which as ked participants to report their mothers and fathers main job while the student was growi ng up, and were determined based on the works of Nams and Terrie (1994) on a scale of zero to one hundred. The highest OSS of the mothers and fathers reported values were used, and descriptive analysis was used to present the mean, minimum, maximum, and standard deviation. 30

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Academic Aspirations Academic aspirations have been cited in th e literature to be significant in determining transfer for Hispanics (Arbona & Nora, 2007; Nora, 1987). In order to assess transfer aspirations, self-reported TRUCCS survey data was used. Aspi rations were evaluated based on three survey questions, which were anticipation of transfer, anticip ation of a bachelors degree, and highest degree aspirations. The TRUCCS survey asked two questions: As things stand today, do you think you will a) Get a bachelors de gree, b) Transfer to a 4-year college or university, and participants were given the following response options: definitely not, probably not, maybe, probably, and definite ly. This variable was recoded such that participants who responded as not having any aspira tions to transfer or who were not sure, were assigned a value of and those who definite ly or probably aspired towards transfer, were assigned a value of The survey also included a separate questi on, which asked, If ther e were no obstacles, what is the highest academic degree you would like to attain in your lifetime?, and included eight answer choices, from no degree, to co mmunity college degrees, to graduate and professional degrees. This variable was recoded into four categorie s. Participants who indicated that they would be taking cla sses but did not intend to earn a degree were assigned a value of those who aspired towards a vocational certif icate or associates degree were given a value of those who hoped for a bachelors degree and maybe further education were designated a value of and those who desired a masters doctoral, or medical degree were assigned a value of Academic Preparation An additional barrier identified in the literature for Hispanics is lack of academic preparation (Hurtado & Kamimura, 2003; Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004). Due to this inadequacy 31

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in academic preparedness, Hispanics are more lik ely to need remedial education when they arrive to a community college (Laden, 2004; Ornelas & Solorzano, 2004; Schmidt, 2003). In studies of community college tr ansfer, taking remedial courses has been found to significantly increase a students risk of leaving the institu tion (Clagett, 1996; Vorhees, 1993). In order to measure the academic preparation of the students in this sample, placement test scores in English and mathematics were used. The highest English and mathematics placement scores were taken from transcript data and placed into six categories: not assessed, no placement, remedial level, basic level, intermediate level, and transfer level. For the purposes of this study, the variable was recoded into three diffe rent areas. A value of was given to those who were not assessed or not placed, where students who were not program placed were not required to take a placement test, a value of was given to those at the remedial or basic levels, and a value of was given to those at intermediate or tr ansfer levels. Transcript data was also used in order to assess the total numbe r of remedial courses taken, which ranged from zero to four. This variable was coded such th at those having taken no remedial courses were given a value of those havi ng taken one or two were given a value of and those having taken three or four remedial course s were given a value of Transfer Readiness The last variable in this study is transfer r eadiness. As defined ear lier, transfer readiness is a measure of a community college students academic progress towards transfer, and is here measured through the students completion of IG ETC modules. Completion of IGETC modules, or subject areas, was taken from transcript da ta and is the number of IGETC modules which were successfully completed. That is, all course s required for the given subject areas were taken by the student and completed with a C or bett er. This variable does not take into account which module was completed, only the number of m odules that were finished. The original data 32

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set gave a range of zero to seven for module area completion. For this study, a value of was given to students who had not completed any m odules, a value of given to students who completed one to three module area s, and a value of given to those who completed four to seven module areas. Analytic Method This study is based on a secondary analysis of data gathered by the TRUCCS project. The TRUCCS data of almost 5,000 participants has been analyzed, validated, and refined through data analysis processes using sampling design that maximized variation in the independent variables in the sample to allow rese archers to make internally valid comparisons of subgroups (Hagedorn & Maxwell, 1999). The data was conditioned in order to identify a sample of only the Hispanic-Latino particip ants, which resulted in being over half the size of that of the original TRUCCS data set. Descriptive analys is, including frequencies and cross tabulations, will be employed utilizing SPSS in order to tell an unspoken story about the uniqueness of urban Hispanic-Latino community college students in the Los Angeles Community College District. Limitations In addition to the limitations stated in chapter one, several other limitations emerge from the data. First, we are limited by participants understanding of the et hnicity question in the TRUCCS survey, and whether or not their self-i dentification matches the definition I gave to each ethnic category. For instance, I define Mexican-American and Chicano/a as individuals who were born in the United States to Mexican or Mexican-American parents; however, some individuals who may have been bor n in Mexico but immigrated to the United States may identify as Mexican-American. This also raises another limitation, as ge neration and immigrant status of participants is unknown in the an alysis. We do not know whether a Central American participant is third-generation, or whether a South American participant is a recent immigrant. This is a 33

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strong limitation, as native and foreign born status of Hispanics in the United States accounts for many differences between them (Broadie, et al., 2002). As the analysis is limited to the five La tino ethnic groups identified in the TRUCCS survey, and in order to obtain the cleanest data possible, the multiethnic and other Latino subgroup was created. This group must be approached with cau tion, as it include s all other Latino identified participants, but also includes participants who multiply identified either racially and/or ethni cally. One last limitation in this study is that actual transfer is not utilized in the analysis, as I am trying to address how prep ared students are to transfer, which holds the institution more accountable. This poses as a limitation in that not all students who intend to transfer do so after completing IGETC modules. They may enroll in a few remedial courses and then transfer without completing any IGETC modules. However, as actual transfer measures are difficult to evaluate and not always relia ble, it is left out of this study. 34

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Table 3-1. Hispanic-Latino freque ncies and percentages by subgroup. Latino Subgroup Frequency Percentage of Sample Population Mexican 568 25.5% Mexican-American/Chicano 818 36.7% South American 83 3.7% Central American 496 22.3% Multiethnic/Other Latino 262 11.8% Total 2,227 100.0% Table 3-2. Age by Latino subgroup. Age Mexican MexicanAmerican/Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/O ther Latino 17 or younger 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 1.0% 1.2% 18-24 51.9% 68.9% 45.8% 51.4% 72.7% 25-39 39.3% 27.2% 34.9% 38.7% 20.8% 40 or older 8.6% 3.7% 19.3% 8.9% 5.4% Table 3-3. Variables used in the data analysis by variable name, type, and scale used for coding. Variable Name Variable Type Scale Parents education Single item-cate gorical 1=High school degree or less 2=Bachelors degree or less 3=Graduate or professional degree Parents OSS Continuous 0-100 Aspiration toward transfer Dichotomous 1=Aspiration towards transfer 2=Aspiration not towards transfer Aspiration toward bachelors degree Dichotomous 1=Aspiration towards bachelors degree 2=Aspiration not towards bachelors degree Highest degree aspirations Single item-categorical 1=None 2=Associates degree or vocational certificate 3=At least bachelors degree 4=Graduate or professional degree Highest English placement Single item-categorical 1=Not assessed or no placement 2=Remedial or basic 3=Intermediate of transfer Highest mathematics placement Single item-categorical 1=Not assessed or no placement 2=Remedial or basic 3=Intermediate of transfer Remedial courses taken Single item-categorical 1=None taken 2=One-two taken 3=Three-four taken Number of IGETC modules completed Single item-categorical 1=None completed 2=One-three completed 3=Four-seven completed 35

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CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Results of this chapter are presented in si x sections, discussing the findings of the descriptive and exploratory analyses for the variables of student background, academic aspirations, academic preparation, a nd transfer readiness. Explor atory data analysis found that clear differences exist be tween Latino subgroups. Student Background To examine student background, the variables examined were derived from self-reported data on the TRUCCS survey. Stude nt background was assessed in terms of parental educational attainment level and socioeconomic status. These were all found in past research to significantly affect Hispanics and serve as barriers for Hispan ic-Latinos as a whole in their pathways through higher education, and particularly, community colle ges. For educational attainment, the cross tabulation found that Mexican pa rents are the least educated, with over 92% of the population having a high school diploma or less. South Am erican parents were found to have the highest rate of bachelors degrees, with 11% having at least a high school di ploma and a bachelors degree or less. Multiethnic and Other Latino students were the least likely to have parents with a Graduate or Professional degree, with less than one percent of the students reporting so on the TRUCCS survey. Mexican stude nts had the lowest average OSS score, with a mean of 38.69, more than 20 points less than the highest mean value of all groups, South Americans with an average OSS of almost 60. Table 4-1 presents cr oss tabulations for educ ational attainment and table 4-2 presents descriptive statistics for socioeconomic status. Academic Aspirations For transfer aspirations, 25% of the entire Lati no sample did not antici pate transferring to a four-year college or university. Mexicans had the lowest rate of transfer aspirations, with 36

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29.4% not aspiring towards transf er, and South Americans had th e highest rate of transfer aspirations, with 81% indicating transfer to a four-year college or university as a definite academic objective. See Table 4-3 for further deta ils regarding transfer aspirations for the study sample. Bachelors degree aspirations yielded si milar and dissimilar results. As with transfer aspirations, South Americans had the highest rate of bachelors degree aspirations, with over 82% so indicating. However, it was multiet hnic and other Latinos who had the lowest aspirations towards a bachelors degree with approximately 32% not aspiring towards a bachelors degree. Table 4-4 shows cross tabulat ions for bachelors degree aspirations by Latino subgroup. Additionally, highest degree aspirations we re also assessed. For Hispanic-Latinos as a group, the majority aspired towards a gradua te or professional degree, with 55.5% so indicating. Two percent of Mexi cans did not plan on obtaining any type of degree, whereas 0% of South Americans and multiethnic and other Lati nos had the same response. Multiethnic and other Latinos were also the group which had the least amount of st udents who indicated aspirations towards a graduate or profession degree, whereas South Americans as a group had the most, with 49.8% and 61.4% respectively. Table 4-5 shows highest degree aspirations by Latino subgroup. Academic Preparation For English placement scores, South Ameri cans had 61% had the largest proportion of students placing in remedial and basic level courses, a proportion gr eater than that of any other group. Mexican-Americans had the greatest pro portion of intermediate and transfer level placement in English, with 47% of these student s having so placed. For mathematics placement, it was the exact opposite. South Americans had th e largest share of st udents placing at the intermediate and transfer levels at approximately 19%, and Mexi can-Americans at the remedial and basic levels at 83%. Tabl es 4-6 and 4-7 show the placement scores by Latino subgroups. 37

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South American students also had the highest ra tes of taking zero and th ree to four remedial courses, with multiethnic and other Latino students having the highest rates of taking one to two remedial courses at 20%. Table 4-8 displa ys remedial educati on cross tabulations. Transfer Readiness Multiethnic and other Latino stud ents were the most likely not to complete any modules (about half completed zero IGETC modules). Mexican-Americans were a bit more likely to complete one to three course modules, with Mexicans and Central Americans having similar percentages (40.9%, 39.8%, and 39.1% respectively), and more likely to complete four to seven IGETC modules. Table 4-9 pr esents cross tabulations for the number of IGETC modules completed per Latino subgroup. 38

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Table 4-1. Parents highest level of e ducational attainment by Latino subgroup, N=1,999. Education Level Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos High school degree or less 92.3% 91.8% 87.8% 89.4% 90.8% 91.2% Bachelors degree or less 6.7% 6.9% 10.8% 9.0% 8.7% 7.7% Graduate or professional degree 1% 1.3% 1.4% 1.6% 0.5% 1.2% Table 4-2. Parents OSS by Latino subgroup, N=1,890. Latino Subgroup Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation Mexican 2.70 99.10 38.69 24.17 Mexican-American/Chicano 0.70 99.10 43.36 22.79 South American 8.00 99.80 59.29 26.54 Central American 5.30 99.80 43.22 26.17 Multiethnic/Other Latino 2.70 99.80 46.92 24.82 Table 4-3. Aspirations toward transfer to a four-year college or university by Latino subgroup, N=2,142. Aspiration Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos Not toward transfer 29.4% 20.7% 19.0% 28.4% 24.5% 25% Toward transfer 70.6% 79.3% 81.0% 71.6% 75.5% 75.0% Table 4-4. Aspirations toward bach elors degree by Latino subgroup, N=2,137. Aspiration Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos Not toward bachelors degree 27.5% 27.9% 17.5% 25.7% 32.1% 27.4% Toward bachelors degree 72.5% 72.1% 82.5% 74.3% 67.9% 72.6% 39

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Table 4-5. Highest degree as pirations by Latino subgroup, N=2,199. Aspiration Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos None 2.0% 1.1% 0.0% 1.4% 0.0% 1.2% Associates degree/vocational certificate 12.8% 7.5% 7.2% 12.7% 10.5% 10.4% At least bachelors 31.9% 32. 9% 31.3% 30.6% 39.7% 32.9% Graduate or professional degree 53.3% 58.4% 61.4% 55.2% 49.8% 55.5% Table 4-6. Highest English placement by Latino subgroup, N=1,710. Placement Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos Not assessed-no placement 2.9% 3.7% 4.7% 7.4% 7.2% 4.7% Remedial-basic 59.9% 49.2% 60.9% 53.5% 53.8% 53.9% Intermediatetransfer 37.2% 47.0% 34.4% 39.1% 39.0% 41.4% Table 4-7. Highest mathematics placement by Latino subgroup, N=1,710. Placement Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos Not assessed-no placement 7.0% 4.7% 20.3% 11.3% 8.7% 7.7% Remedial-basic 79.3% 83.1% 60.9% 80.2% 82.1% 80.5% Intermediatetransfer 13.7% 12.3% 18.8% 8.5% 9.2% 11.8% Table 4-8. Number of remedial c ourses taken by Latino subgroup, N=2,138. Courses taken Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos None Taken 83.2% 81.8% 89.2% 79.6% 79.5% 81.7% One-two 16.6% 17.9% 1.8% 19.7% 20.1% 17.9% Three-four 0.2% 0.3% 2.4% 0.6% 0.4% 0.4% Table 4-9. Number of IGETC modu les completed by Latino subgroup, N=2,138. Number of modules Mexican MexicanAmerican/ Chicano South American Central American Multiethnic/ Other Latino Total for all Latinos None completed 43.5% 37.6% 44.6% 46.2% 48.4% 42.5% One-three 39.8% 40.9% 34.9% 39.1% 38.5% 39.7% Four-seven 16.8% 21.5% 20.5% 14.7% 13.1% 17.8% 40

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION In addition to giving voices to unique Hispanic-Latino groups which as we have established here face different challenges, this paper aims to provide community college administrators, faculty members, and academic counselors knowledge and guidance on how to best serve their Hispanic -Latino students and guide them to a nd through the transfer process. In this chapter, we will interpret the findings presented in chapter four and their significance as compared to previous research. I will then conc lude with what implications these results might have for researchers and community college administrators, faculty members, academic counselors, and students. There is a lack of research surrounding the differing experiences of Hispanic-Latinos in higher education, particularly at the community college. As Hispanic-Latinos enroll in community colleges in greater proportions than a ny other racial-ethnic group (Swail, et al., 2004; Horn, et al., 2002; Fry, 2002; Lee & Frank, 1990; Nora, 1987), more attention needs to be given to these individuals who differ from one anothe r. Hispanic-Latinos are a heterogeneous group and a complex population to study (Gonzalez Burc har, et al., 2005; Ferdman & Gallegos, 2001), thus lumping them together for research does not necessarily yield valid results. This study hoped to reveal some of the diversity among the experiences of Hispanics in community colleges. There were several limitations in this study, which have implications for the interpretation of results. As th is is a secondary data analysis, the research was limited to the sample and data of the TRUCCS project. This limited the analysis of Latino subgroups to five, the most prevalent in the Los Angeles Community College District. If a similar study were conducted in the community college district of Miami Dade, Florida, for example, another 41

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Hispanic serving urban community college district the demographics might yield very dissimilar results due to the diverse Hispanic demographics of the two areas. In addition, as students in the survey self-ide ntified in terms of th eir race and ethnicity, Hispanic identity development must be considered. As aforementioned, Hispanics are a heterogeneous and diverse group (Gonzalez Burc har, et al., 2005; Torres, 2004; Torres, 2003; Broadie, Steffenson, Valdez, Levin, & Suro, 200 2). Latinos do not conform easily into preexisting racial categories in th e United States, and often adopt the Latino la bel while still maintaining identification to their Latino subgr oup and national origin (Ferdman & Gallegos, 2001). In addition, research has found that many Hisp anic-Latinos treat their ethnic identity as a race (Hitlin, Brown, & Elder, 2007); however, this study found that many Hispanics multiply identified as one or more of the racial cat egories along with their Hispanic-Latino subgroup identification. These results must be approached with caution. Generation al status is a factor when considering how assimilated in American cu lture a participant in this study may be, thus affecting the degree of impact of their Hispanic heritage. Nevertheless, the results do i ndicate that Hispanic-Lati no subgroups have different characteristics in terms of background and academ ic preparation for transfer. The variables found to be the show the greatest differences be tween subgroups were age, parental education, family socioeconomic status, transfer aspirati ons, and English and math placement scores. Additional difference was found highest degree aspirations and transf er readiness. Significance of Findings Mexican-Americans, or Chicanos, make up 36. 7% of the study sample, the largest by far of any other group. They are the most likely to place academically in remedial or basic math courses, but are also among the most likely to as pire to graduate and pr ofessional degrees behind South Americans, and are the most transfer ready of all other students. This supports findings by 42

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Arbona and Nora (2007) in their study which f ound that high aspirations and goal commitments by Hispanic community college students helped facilitate successful transfer. MexicanAmericans and Mexicans have the lo west level of parental educational attainment of all of the groups, both having 95.3% of their parents with a high school diploma or less. Some MexicanAmericans may have parents born in Mexico, as would the parents of Mexicans which might help to explain these similarities, however it is also the case that Mexican-Americans maybe be several generations removed from Mexico. Parental education is where the similari ties between Mexican-Americans and Mexicans end. Mexicans have lower OSS, do not aspire towards transfer, and are more likely to have their educational aspirations ending at community college degrees. Although in relation to other subgroups they are not less academically prepar ed, their academic objectives are different. Mexicans have more in common with other Cent ral Americans in fact, who share low OSS. This could be explained by the potential immigr ant status of Central Americans; however, a great limitation of this analysis is that we do not know the immigran t or generational status of the participants. Common immigrant status could yield similar results, as supported by a recent report by the Pew Hispanic Center which found that the native and fo reign born status of Hispanics in the United States accounts for many of their differing experiences (Broadie, et al., 2002). This may partially explain the similarities between Mexicans and Central Americans, however it does not account for the great diffe rences between South Americans and all other Latino subgroups. South Americans are vastly different in terms of age, placement in English and mathematics, and degree aspirations. A gr eater proportion of South Americans enroll in remedial courses and their comp letion of IGETC modules is sec ond to Mexican-Americans. Due 43

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to their age difference, perhaps support avenues are less available to them, or they are more hesitant to seek that support to help them ach ieve their academic objectives. In addition, these differences could be explained by the different sociopol itical factors and immigration patterns of South Americans. Caution must be taken when considering th e multiethnic and other Latino group. In order to obtain the cleanest data sample, multiracial an d multiethnic persons, that is, those who marked at least one Hispanic-Latino cate gory and at least one other cate gory, along with individuals who marked multiple Hispanic categories were groupe d with individuals who identified as Other Latino/Hispanic. Due to the vastness and ambigu ity of this category, it cannot be assumed that for instance, individuals from the Spanish speak ing countries of the Caribbean who were not given a separate category to mark on the TRUCCS survey would have sim ilar experiences as the individuals in the multiethnic and other Latino category. Recommendations In accordance with Brodie and associates (2002), a more dynamic approach should be taken with the ever changing and diverse Hispan ic-Latino population in the United States, and particularly in higher educati on. The findings of this study have various implications for researchers and those who work at and attend community colleges. For one, researchers must be transparent when using the term Hispanic or Latino/a to describe a sample population which may be more heterogeneous in na ture. Although this study does re veal great differences between the experiences of different La tino subgroups, it also highlighted the distinctiveness of South Americans, who are older and have different academic aspira tions from their other Latino counterparts. Although their objectives are higher, they are not achieving transfer readiness at rates proportionate to their aspirations. 44

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Different approaches must be taken by comm unity colleges when working with distinct Hispanic populations in order to address the particular needs of that community. More research is needed to look at the relationships between these variables be yond descriptive statistics. We no longer exist in a time which allows for one or two check boxes for Hispanic-Latinos to choose from. If systems of higher education wish to truly address the needs of the majority-minority and invest in its educational atta inment, additional specificity is key. As telling as the TRUCCS project has been for the experiences of Hispanic community college students, the use of the term Hispanic in addressing this student population must be used cautiously. The demographics of the Hispanic population of Los Angeles is predominantly Mexican and Chicana/o. Using the term Hispanic may not be most appropriate as the sample population in this study, and that in much of the research on Hispanic-Latino stud ents, does not reflect the great diversity among Hispanic and Hispanic-Americans (Torres, 2004). In order to gain a better understanding of the true Hispanic experience, similar studies n eed to be employed in urban, Hispanic-serving community college districts, such as in the Miami Dade Community College District, and the community colleges of the City University of New York. This framework must be kept in mind when working with and trying to understand Hisp anic student populations, and particularly those as diverse as that at community colleges. 45

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LIST OF REFERENCES Adelman, C. (1999). Answers in the tool box: Academic intensity, attendance patterns, and bachelors degree attainment (Document #PLLI 1999-8021). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of E ducational Research and Improvement. American Association of Co mmunity Colleges. (2007). CC stats Retrieved March 1, 2008, from http://www2.aacc.nche.edu/research/index.htm Arbona, C., & Nora, A. (2007). The influence of academic and environmental factors on Hispanic college degree attainment. The Review of Higher Education, 30(3) 247-269. Assist. (n.d.). IGETC-Intersegmental general education transfer curriculum. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.assist.org/web-assist/help/help-igetc.html Boswell, K. (2004). Bridges or barriers? Public policy and the community college transfer function. Change, 36(6), 22-29. Broadie, M., Steffenson, A., Valdez, J., Levin, R., & Suro, R. (2002). 2002 National Survey of Latinos. Washington, DC & Menlo Park: Pew Hi spanic Center and Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. California Postsecondary E ducation Commission. (2007). College-going rates by ethnicity and gender. Retrived March 6, 2008, from http://www.cpec.ca.gov/OnLineData/CACGREthnicity.asp Castellanos, J., & Jones, L. (2003, Eds.). The Majority in the Minority: Expanding the representation of Latina/o faculty, Administrators, and Students in Higher Education Sterling, VA, Stylus. Cepeda, R. (1991). Adoption of the intersegmental gene ral education transfer curriculum Sacramento: Board of Governors of Califor nia Community Colleges. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 26271). Chang, J.C. (2005). Faculty-student interaction at the community college: A focus on students of color. Research in Higher Education, 46 (7), 769-802. Clayton, K.K., and others (1993). Family Influence Over the Occupational and Educational Choices of Mexican American Students. Berkley, Calif.: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, 1993. (ED 367 786) Claggett, C.A. (1996). Correlates of success in th e community college: Using research to inform campus retention efforts. Journal of Applie d Research in the Community College, 4(1): 49-68. 46

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Dougherty, K.J., & Kienzl, G.S. (2006). It s not enough to get through the open door: Inequalities by social bac kground in transfer from comm unity colleges to four-year colleges. Teachers College Record, 108 (3), 452-487. Ferdman, B., & Gallegos, P. ( 2001). Racial identity developmen t and Latinos in the United States. In C. L. Wijeyesinghe & B. W. Jackson III (Eds.), New perspectives on racial identity development (pp.32). New York: New York University Press. Field, A. (2005). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS London: Sage Publications Ltd. Fry, R. (2004). Latino Youth Finishing College: Th e Role of Selective Pathways. Washington DC: Pew Hispanic Center. Fry, R. (2002). Latinos in higher education: Many enroll, too few graduate. Washington DC: Pew Hispanic Center. Garcia, P. (2001). Understanding the obstacles and barri ers to Hispanic baccalaureates Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies. Gonzalez Burchard, E., et al. (2005). Latino populations: A uni que opportunity for the study of race, genetics, and social environm ent in epidemiological research. American Journal of Public Health, 95 (12), 2161-2168. Hagedorn, L.S., & Lester, J. (2006). Hispanic community college students and the transfer game: Strikes, misses, and grand slam experiences. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 29 (8), 827-853. Hagedorn, L.S., Moon, H.S., Maxwell, W.E., & Lester, J. (2006). Transfer between community colleges and 4-year colleges : The all-American game. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 30 (3), 223-242. Hagedorn, L.S., & Cepeda, R. (2004). Serving Los Angeles: Urban community colleges and educational success among Latino students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28 (3). 199-211. Hagedorn, L.S., & Maxwell, W. (1999). Research on urban community college transfer and retention: The Los Angeles TRUCCS project. Retrieved on January, 23, 2008, from http://www.coe.ufl.edu/Leadership/i he/TRUCCS/Files/Research_on_Urban.pdf Harrell, P.E., & Forney, W.S. (2003). Ready or not here we come: Retaining Hispanic and firstgeneration students in post secondary education. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 27 (2), 147-156. Hitlin, S., Brown, J.S., & Elder, G.H. (2007). Meas uring Latinos: Racial vs. ethnic classification and self-understandings. Social Forces, 86 (2), 587-612. 47

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Hoachlander, G., Sikora, A.C., & Horn, L. (2003). Community College Students: Goals, Academic Preparation, and Outcomes (NCES 2003-164). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Horn, L., Peter, K., & Rooney, K. (2002). Profile of Undergraduates in U.S. Postsecondary Institutions: 1999-2000 (NCES 2002-168). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Hurtado, S., & Kamimura, M. (2003). Latino/a re tention in four-year institutions. In J. Castellanos & L. Jones (Eds.), The majority in the minority: Expanding the representation of Latina/o faculty, administ rators, and students in higher education (pp. 139-152). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. Kerr, C. (1960). A master plan for higher education in California, 1960-1975 Sacramento: California State Department of Edu cation. Retrieved on March 5, 2008 from http://www.cpec.ca.gov/CompleteReports/E xternalDocuments/MASTER_PLAN.pdf. KewalRamani, A., Gilbertson, L., Fox, M.A., & Provasnik, S. (2007). Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic minorities (NCES 2007-039). Wash ington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Kuh, G. D., Cruce, T., Shoup, R., Kinzie, J., & Gonyea, R. M. (2007). Unmasking the Effects of Student Engagement on College Grades and Persistence Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. L.A. County Online. (2008). General info: Overview. Retrieved March 6, 2008 from, http://lacounty.info/overview.htm Laanan, F.S. (2001). Transfer student adjustment. In F.S. Laanan (Ed.). Transfer students: Trends and issues. New Directions for Community Colleges, no. 114, 5-13. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Laanan, F.S. (2003). Degree aspirations of two-year college students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice 27 495-518. Los Angeles Community College District. (2008). Enrollment by Ethnic ity: Fall 1972-Fall 2007. Retrieved on March 7, 2008, from http://research.laccd.edu/studentcharacteristics/enrollment-by-ethnicity.htm Laden, B.V. (2004). Introduction. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28 (3), 177-180. Lee, V.E., & Frank, K.A. (1990). Student characteris tics that facilitate tran sfer from two-year to four-year colleges. Sociology of Educaiton, 63 178-193. Longerbeam, S.D., Sedlacek, W.E., & Alatorre, H.M. (2004). In their own voices: Latino student retention. NASPA Journal, 41 (3), 538-550. 48

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Martinez, M., & Fernndez, E. (2004). Latinos at community colleges. New Directions for Student Services, 105 51-62. McCormick, A.C., Carroll, C.D. (1997). Transfer behavior among beginning postsecondary students: 1989-94 (NCES 97-266). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Mudhenk, R.T. (2000). The Trouble With Outcomes. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 70(6), 13-15. Nora, A. (1987). Determinants of retention among Chicano college students: A structural model. Research in Higher Education, 26 31-57. Ornelas, A., & Solorzano, D.G. (2004). Tran sfer conditions of Latina/o community college students: A single institution case study. Community College Jour nal of Research and Practice, 28 233-248. Pew Hispanic Center. (2006). Hispanics at Mid-Decade: Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of 2005 American Community Survey. Washington D.C. Rendon, L. (2000). Fulfilling the promise of access and opportunity: Collaborative community colleges for the 21 st century. New expeditions: charting the second century of community colleges. Issues paper no. 3. Washington DC: American Association of Community Colleges. Sandy, J., Gonzalez, A., & Hilmer, M.J. (2006). Alternative paths to college completion: Effect of attending a 2-year school on the probabi lity of completing a 4-year degree. Economics of Education Review, 25 463-471. Schmidt, P. (2003). Academes Hispanic future. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 50 (14), A8. Retrieved February 28, 2008, from http://www.admin.colostate.edu/caucus/documents/hispanicfuture.pdf Shansby, J.B. (1987). The master plan renewed: Unity, equity, quality, and efficiency in California postsecondary education Sacramento: California State Department of Education. Retrieved on March 5, 2008, from http://www.cpec.ca.gov/CompleteReports /ExternalDocuments/MASTER_PLAN_RENE WED.pdf. Shorris, E. (1992). Latinos: A Biography of the People New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Suarez, A.L. (2003). Forward transfer: Strengthening the educational pipeline for Latino community college students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 27(2), 95-117. Swail, W.S., Cabrera, A.F., Lee, C., & Williams, A. (2005). Latino students and the educational pipeline. Part III: Pathways to the bachelors degree for Latino students Washington, DC: Educational Policy Institute a nd Lumina Foundation for Education. 49

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Swail, W. S., Cabrera, A. F., & Lee, C. (2004). Latino Youth and the Pathway to College Washington, D.C.: Pew Hispanic Center. Terrie, E.W. & Nam, C.B. (1994). 1990 and 1980 Nam-Powers-Terrie Occupational Status Scores. Working Paper Series 94-118. Center for the Study of Population. Tallahassee: Florida State University. Torres, V. (2004). The diversity among us: Pu erto Ricans, Cuban Americans, Caribbean Americans, and Central and South Americans. New Directions for Student Services, 2004(105), 5-16. Torres, V. (2003). Mi casa is not exactly like your house: A window onto the experience of Latino students. About Campus, 8 (2), 2-7. Townsend, B.K., & Wilson, K.B. (2006). The tran sfer mission: Tried an d true, but troubled? New Directions for Community Colleges, 136 33-41. U.S. Census Bureau (2004). U.S. Interim Projections by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin. Retrieved February 22, 2007, from http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/usinterimproj/ U.S. Census Bureau. (2006). American Community Survey. Retrieved March 6, 2008 from http://www.census.gov/acs/www/ Valladares, M. (2003). Getting past enrollment: Many Latino students are entering college. But few graduate. Hispanic, 16(5), 30-34. Voorhees, R. A. (1993). Toward building models of community college persistence: A logit analysis. Research in Hi gher Education, 26(2), 115-129. Wassmer, R., Moore, C., & Shuloc k, N. (2004). Effect of racial /ethnic composition on transfer rates in community colleges: Implic ations for policy and practice. Research in Higher Education, 45 (6), 651-672. Wellman, J.V. (2002). State policy and community colle ge-baccalaureate transfer (National Center Report #02-6). San Jose: The National Center for Public Policy and Washington DC: Higher Education and The Institute for Higher Education Policy. Wirt, J., Choy, S., Rooney, P., Provasni k, S., Sen, A., and Tabin, R. (2004). The condition of education 2004 (NCES 2004-077). Washington DC: U. S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Wolf-Wendel, L., Twombly, S., Morphew, C., & Socich, J. (2004). From the barrio to the bucolic: The student transfer experi ence from HSIs to Smith College. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28 213-231. 50

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Desiree Danielle Zerquera was born in 1986 in Miami, Florida. She remained in South Florida until 2003, when she moved to Gainesville, Fl to attend the University of Florida. She earned her B.A. in mathematics with a minor in general education in May 2007, and immediately began her graduate program in educational leader ship, with a concentration in higher education administration. Upon completion of her Master of Arts in Education degree in May, Desiree will enroll in the Ph.D. program in higher edu cation administration at Indiana UniversityBloomington.