University of Phoenix Research Institute

University of Phoenix Research Institute

The Role of Career Colleges and Access to Higher Education for Members of Under-represented Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups The purpose of the quantitative descriptive correlational and comparative study is to examine the accessibility of career colleges, the levels and types of programs, the geographic distribution of the programs, enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation data, and demographics, and the relationship between these factors and county educational attainment and median household income in states where anticipated demographic shifts are likely to have the greatest impact on the educational attainment of the populace and in which inequalities in state higher education are likely to have the greatest impact on educational attainment: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas (Kelly, 2005). Differences in retention, financial aid, graduation, county educational attainment, and county median household income will also be analyzed. The population will consist of publicly available data for these states from NCHEMS, the Educational Needs Index Project, Career / Technical Education Statistics, IPEDS, and U.S. Census data. Research Question(s) R1: To what extent are career colleges located in the counties with highest educational needs? R2: What levels and types of programs are offered in career colleges in these counties? R3: What is the student demographic profile in these career colleges in terms of race, ethnicity, and age? R4: What is the relationship between the accessibility of career colleges, levels and types of programs, the geographic distribution of the programs, enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation data, student demographics, county educational attainment and median household income? R5: What differences exist in enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation data by level and type of program and student demographics? H1o: No significant relationships exist between the accessibility of career colleges, levels and types of programs, the geographic distribution of the programs, enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation data, demographics, county educational attainment, county median household income. H1a: There are significant relationships between the accessibility of career colleges, levels and types of programs, the geographic distribution of the programs, enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation data, demographics, county educational attainment, and median household income. H2o: No significant differences exist in enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation data by level and type of program and student demographics. H2a: There are significant differences in enrollment, retention, financial aid, and graduation data by level and type of program and student demographics. Only publicly available data for the states identified above will be collected and analyzed. Analyses will include parametric and non-parametric correlational and comparative statistics based on the levels of measurement of the variables and the distribution of the data. The population will include publicly available data: (a) state-level data from NCHEMS Information Center for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis; (b) state, county, and regional data from the Educational Needs Index; c) institution-level data from Career / Technical Education Statistics (CTES, National Center for Education Statistics) postsecondary/ college level tables on career education at the postsecondary level, including data from public, nonprofit, and for-profit postsecondary education institutions and from U.S. students; d) the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department’s National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS data includes information all colleges, universities, and technical and vocational institutions participating in the federal student financial aid programs. These institutions must report data on enrollments, program completions, graduation rates, faculty and staff, finances, institutional prices, and student financial aid. These data are available to researchers through the IPEDS Data Center; and e) U.S. Census 2010 county-level data on educational attainment, median family income, and other demographics. Population and Sample The population consists of existing, publicly available data at the institutional, state, regional, and county level for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas. The sample of career colleges to be selected in each state will be based on which colleges are located in counties identified as having the highest need by the Educational Needs Project, and the diversity of their educational offerings to reflect a variety of industry sectors (e.g., health, technology, manufacturing) and education levels (certificate, 2-year, 4-year). Apollo Group universities and colleges will be excluded from the sample. The proposed research aligns with multiple Institute research questions and topics through its focus on career colleges, which serve large numbers of working learners and members of under-represented racial and ethnic minority groups, and its focus on states and counties where anticipated demographic shifts are likely to have the greatest impact on the educational attainment of the populace and in which inequalities in state higher education are likely to have the greatest impact on educational attainment. Consistent with Institute preferences, the proposed study will be restricted to publicly available archived data from credible sources and include multi-institutional samples of career colleges in 12 states across the country.