Study Finds Community College Helps Minority Students on the Road to a Bachelor’s Degree

graduateAbout 40 percent of undergraduate students enrolled in higher education attend two-year community colleges. While community colleges offer educational opportunities for many students who otherwise might not enroll in higher education, some critics say that two-year schools steer students, particularly disadvantaged minority students, away from four-year institutions where they would be on track for a bachelor’s degree.

A new study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison refutes the critics of community colleges. The study found that attending a community college did have a negative impact on bachelor’s degree attainment for students from upper-middle class homes. But the authors found that for disadvantaged students, who represent the majority of community college-goers, enrolling at a community college has a modest positive effect on their likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree.

Jennie E. Brand, an associate professor of sociology at UCLA and the lead author of the study, stated that “many policy and school district initiatives are focusing on getting high school graduates into four-year degree programs instead of community colleges. Our data show that there is no penalty for attending community colleges for the vast majority of students who attend them.”

The study, “The Community College Effect Revisited: The Importance of Attending to Heterogeneity and Complex Counterfactuals,” was published in the journal Sociological Science. It may be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

The Eutychus Phenomenon

Part of the Eutychus phenomenon is viewing those with diverse viewpoints in the room as fortunate, but not vital contributors. The narrative that affirmative action scours the earth looking for inept candidates to give them what mediocre White people rightfully deserve is oft repeated and sadly, embraced by many.

Three Black Presidents in Higher Education Announce Their Resignations

Cal Poly Humboldt President Tom Jackson, Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, and Morehouse College President David Thomas have all announced their plans to step down from their respective presidential appointments.

Three African Americans Appointed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roles in Higher Education

The appointments to diversity positions are Tamara Clegg at the University of Maryland, Andrew Alvez at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and Kendriana Price at the University of Kentucky.

Featured Jobs