This Project MALES research brief utilizes the most recent available data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Community Population Survey (CPS) to establish trends over the last decade in overall enrollment numbers and, through the use of equity indices (Bensimon, Hao, & Bustillos, 2006), gains and losses in equitable representation in relation to relative local demographic changes. IPEDS provided enrollment numbers for all U.S.-based and Title IV-participating institutions in the 2-year public sector, while CPS provided yearly estimates of population characteristics at the state level. The research questions guiding this study were: 1) How have enrollment patterns for Latino males developed over time in two-year public colleges in different parts of the country? 2) How do these changes in proportional representation in the study body reflect gains or losses in terms of equity in relation to local demographic changes?
While trends in national enrollment, particularly within public 2-year colleges, shows that participation of Latino males have increased overall, results of this study provide a more nuanced look into the uneven distribution of enrollment and equity trends across geographical areas. Parsing out and examining the variation in Latino college student enrollment and equity by geography matters for a few reasons. Rather than rely on statistics that reflect national trends which may substantially differ by state context, the results of this study provides practitioners and policymakers a clearer picture of the status of Latino equity within their own state and the extent to which public 2-year institutions are effectively recruiting and enrolling Latino students. Results of this study provide evidence that equity gains and losses that have taken place over time may be gendered, perhaps due to different family and migration patterns in established vs. “new” Latino destinations. This finding entails different policy emphases to better serve Latino males who face different kinds of barriers that are in many ways a function of geography (Hatch, Mardock-Uman, and Garcia, 2016). It is imperative for states to critically examine how educational opportunities are afforded to men throughout the education pipeline. As shown in these findings, the results that some states have within the same region can be drastically different, begging the question of what some are doing relatively better or worse than their neighbors to serve Latino men in either place.
For Dr. Hatch-Tocaimaza’s full research brief click here.
For the rest of our brief series click here.