An investigation of variables affecting persistence of African-American males at a Maryland community college

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This study identified and analyzed the positive variables that affect persistence of African-American males enrolled in a selected community college in Maryland. African-American male educational attainment was analyzed in conjunction with the general study population. Internal and external factors were identified and studied to determine their effect on student persistence. The key variables used to analyze retention of African-American males were: age, term, personal goal, academic goal, semesters attended, credit ratio, credits attempted, credits earned, GPA the first semester, GPA the last semester, major, and persistence. Procedures and methodology included a follow-up survey, which was mailed to the 858 African-American males enrolled from 1987-1990. The survey was an annotated version of the Maryland Community Colleges' Graduate Follow-Up Survey. The follow-up survey sought to obtain student perceptions about the community college, the services, the college offerings and programs, the educational experiences while enrolled, and the fulfillment of academic goals. Results of this study indicated that there are a number of positive variables that foster African-American males' quest for the associate's degree. Analysis of the data suggested that African-American males have a higher success rate when they complete career programs that offer employment upon completion of the degree. There was a definite correlation between parent's financial status and/or the independent student's financial status and continued enrollment in the community college. Educational attainment of parents played an important role in the enrollment of African-American males at the community college.








The University of Texas at Austin