tc columbia

Hispanic Educational Attainment in Sub-baccalaureate Programs

By: Mariana Alfonso


Sub-baccalaureate institutions have traditionally been seen as the primary point of access to higher education for economically and academically disadvantaged students. However, most of the literature on sub-baccalaureate students has not focused on whether these students, once granted access, attain degrees, nor has it focused on what factors contribute to educational attainment.

This study analyzes the educational outcomes of sub-baccalaureate students in different degree programs, with particular emphasis on Hispanics and other minority students. The Beginning Postsecondary Student Longitudinal Study of 1989–94 is used to (1) determine the factors that affect the educational attainment of students in different sub-baccalaureate programs, (2) examine the effect of being Hispanic on the probability of sub-baccalaureate degree completion, and (3) investigate the determinants of Hispanics' completion rates.

Findings suggest that Hispanic students are as likely as their White peers to complete certificate programs. Hispanic and White students also complete associate degrees at similar rates, but the factors affecting Hispanics' completion rates are considerably different from those that determine attainment for students from other racial/ethnic groups.