The Project MALES Research Institute has released a new research brief examining graduation rates for Latinx/Tejanx students who have transferred from community colleges to four-year universities. The brief is authored by Dr. José Del Real Viramontes of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Dr. Luis Urrieta, Jr. of The University of Texas at Austin.
To illustrate the disproportionately low college completion rate among Latinx/Tejanx transfer students, Urrieta and Viramontes highlighted current statistics and case studies. Their analysis shows that only 46% of all Latinx students in U.S. higher education are enrolled at a community college. And more than 60% of Latinx students begin their college careers in the community college, but fewer than 1% transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
The authors attribute these numbers to a lack of resources for underserved Latinx/Tejanx students, including segregated schools with below-average standardized test scores and non-certified teachers.
“Coupled with dwindling funding opportunities, these students are often funneled to community college systems as their only option for entry into higher education,” the authors note.
The aim of the research brief is to offer the following research-driven solutions for improving access, retention, and graduation rates for Latinx/Tejanx community college students in Texas. They propose colleges develop the following policies and resources:
- Culturally relevant outreach programs focusing on the specific needs—including the financial needs—of Latinx/Tejanx community college students;
- Guaranteed admission pathways into four-year universities for Latinx/Tejanx community college students;
- Programming specific to increasing the retention and graduation of Latinx/Tejanx community college transfer students.
“The demographic imperative surrounding this issue highlights the urgency with which these access, retention and graduation efforts must be advanced, especially in Texas,” said Urrieta and Viramontes.
With this research brief, Project MALES seeks to amplify scholarship focused on men of color in education across the country. Read the full report.
More about Project MALES: Housed within UT Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) is a research and mentoring initiative committed to advancing the educational outcomes of male students of color at the local, state and national level.