Latino and Caucasian Students' Academic and Non-academic Characteristics as Predictors of Educational Outcomes, High School and Beyond
AuthorSanchez, Jafeth Evelyn
AdvisorThornton, Bill W.
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The pathway to a postsecondary education is challenging for many students, including students from the growing Latino population in the United States. This research project focused on Latino and Caucasian students' academic and non-academic characteristics as predictors of educational outcomes, high school and beyond. The introduction to the study, the review of related literature, and the methodology are presented, along with interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations. Most of the data were obtained through an existing GEAR UP database that maintained data for students in the Nevada GEAR UP program that was initiated in 2001; additional data were added to the research dataset by using archived GEAR UP records. The dataset was analyzed using quantitative research methods. Traditional univariate and multivariate statistical techniques were utilized, including multinomial logistic regression, binomial logistic regression, independent samples t tests, and chi-square tests for independence. The salient findings focused on three particular areas: (a) academics, (b) affordability, and (c) retention. Although most academic variables influenced high school outcomes and college enrollment, they did not influence college retention. Even more, the highest mathematics coursework taken did not influence any educational outcomes. Affordability appeared to take priority over academic success and GEAR UP scholarship eligibility. Students did not appear to overcome financial anxieties, and the GEAR UP scholarship did not successfully impact enrollment. Also, few students enrolled in college, but more GEAR UP students than expected were retained. Further, more Latino students than expected were retained. Therefore, keeping students in college did not appear to be a major issue, but getting students to enroll in college was still problematic.