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ERIC Number: ED517030
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 180
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2484-4
Racial and Ethnic Pluralities at the California State University: Strategies for Student Success
Erickson, Christine Elizabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The demographic profile of the United States is changing. Between the years 2000 and 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau projects a 77% increase in the number of Hispanics, a 32% increase in African-Americans, and less than 1% increase in Whites (Kelly, 2005). As universities become more diverse, minority student retention becomes increasingly important because racial/ethnic disparities are found in college completion rates. The demographic make-up on some campuses has already shifted from one majority racial/ethnic group and one or more minority groups to a racial/ethnic plurality. In this study, the fact that there is no numerical majority racial/ethnic group is the operational definition of plurality. These circumstances provide the backdrop for the research question: at institutions with similar racial/ethnic pluralities that demonstrate different student outcomes, what differential research-based practices are in place that might explain student outcomes? The California State University (CSU) System was identified as the site for the investigation as the 23 regional comprehensive master's universities represent the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the nation; 17 of 23 campuses report racial/ethnic pluralities. Three CSU campuses were selected: Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino. These institutions are moderately selective, enroll pluralities, and demonstrate varying performance rates. Performance was determined by examining first- to second-year retention rates and six-year graduation rates from 2000 to 2007. A qualitative inquiry served to investigate the presence and pervasiveness of institutional practices at the campuses. Institutional websites, publications, and reports were analyzed, informational site visits were conducted, and student perceptions from the National Survey of Student Engagement were examined. A pattern of evidence suggests that institutional practices may be connected to student outcomes. The composition of the pervasive institutional practices on each campus may be more important to student success than the quantity of programs. Although causality cannot be inferred, the pattern of evidence suggests that effective institutional practices coupled with a positive, campus climate for diversity may help create institutional conditions that facilitate student success. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement