Broad Access Institutions and Students


New and Forthcoming 

Predicting Graduation Rates at 4-year Broad Access Institutions Using a Bayesian

Modeling Approach

This study models graduation rates at 4-year broad access institutions (BAIs). We examine
the student body, structural-demographic, and financial characteristics that best predict
6-year graduation rates across two time periods (2008–2009 and 2014–2015). A
Bayesian model averaging approach is utilized to account for uncertainty in variable
selection in modeling graduation rates. Evidence suggests that graduation rates can be
predicted by religious affiliation, proportion of students enrolled full-time, socioeconomic
status of the student body, enrollment size and institutional revenue and expenditures.
Findings also demonstrate that relatively fewer variables predict institutional graduation
rates for Latina/o and African American students at 4-year BAIs. We conclude with
implications for policy and key recommendations for research focused on 4-year BAIs.


Institutional Characteristics Predicting Graduation Rates at 4-yr Broad Access Institutions 

Presentation at EPI  Education Week on September 30, 2014 that presents new research on an understudied and often overlooked institutional type, 4-year broad access institutions (BAIs). The presentation discusses findings from a study conducted to describe the salient characteristics of 4-year BAIs and identify institutional factors that serve to predict graduation rates. Findings are relevant to  researchers, administrators, and policy makers seeking to
improve retention and graduation rates at 4-year BAIs.


Best Practices in Researching Service-Learning at Community Colleges

Chapter in Service-Learning at the American Community College: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives Edited by Amy E. Traver and Zivah Perel Katz (October, 2014) 


Select articles 

Understanding the Racial Transfer Gap: Modeling Underrepresented Minority and Nonminority Students’ Pathways from Two-to Four-Year Institutions​
This study models student- and institutional-level factors that influence vertical transfer among a national sample of White and underrepresented minority (URM) community college students. Results indicate that the predictors of transfer are different in many ways for White and URM students. Most notably, findings suggest that enrolling in vocational programs may hinder students’ odds of vertical transfer for URM (but not White) students. Implications for research, theory, and practice are discussed.


The Influence of Co-Enrollment on the Success of Traditional Age Community College Students

The purpose of the study is to measure the impact of co-enrollment on success outcomes among a national sample of traditional age community college students. Results demonstrate that, even after controlling for observable selection bias and variables previously shown to influence success outcomes for community college students, co-enrolling at more than one institution during a given semester significantly increases the odds that community college students will succeed. 


The Impact of Developmental Education on Community College Persistence and Vertical Transfer​

The present study uses data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS: 04/09) to measure the impact of developmental education on community college students’ odds of persistence and vertical transfer after controlling for enrollment in remediation and institutional-level variables. Propensity score matching results reveal that students who enroll in developmental courses are systematically different from community college students who do not remediate in gender, ethnicity, first-generation status, academic preparation and experiences during high school, and delayed college entry. Moreover, post matching hierarchical generalized linear modeling (HGLM) findings demonstrate that developmental education may overall serve to decrease community college students’ odds of successfully transferring to a 4-year institution, with negative impacts on students enrolled in English and mathematics courses. 


Community College Student Success Programs: A Synthesis, Critique, and Research Agenda

​A narrative review was developed to add to the discussion and dissemination of research on community colleges. The review adds to existing work by synthesizing and critiquing the empirical research to date specific to three of the most prevalent programmatic efforts presently seen on community college campuses: (a) learning communities, (b) student success courses, and (c) supplemental instruction. Empirical investigations or evaluations of student success programs from academic journals, conference presentations, dissertations, unpublished policy reports, and book chapters were identified, summarized, and critiqued. The review concludes with a proposed research agenda to advance research on program effectiveness at community colleges and implications for practice.


Hispanic Student Success: Factors Influencing the Persistence and Transfer Decisions of Latino Community College Students Enrolled in Developmental Education

​This study examined the impact of a set of theoretically-derived predictor variables on the persistence and transfer of Hispanic community college students. Early models of student persistence have been validated primarily among 4-year college students. While the constructs have been well-established, the relationships of those relevant factors remain unexamined among community college transfer students, and specifically, among Hispanic students enrolled in developmental coursework and planning to transfer from a community college to a 4-year institution. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the hypothesized conceptual framework on an existing set of quantitative persistence data drawn from a national sample of Hispanic students.

The Community College: Retention Trends and Issues

This chapter highlights the retention issues facing today’s community colleges. We begin with an introduction of the community college context followed
by a description of the characteristics and functions of community colleges and the typologies of students. Recent national data comparing community
college and two-year retention rates are then provided in preface to a brief explanation of the discrepancies in success outcomes and a discussion of what we feel are the major issues facing community colleges with regard to retention. We conclude with an acknowledgment of the limitations in measuring retention among community college students.


Gloria Crisp