The role of career colleges: Implications for serving racial and ethnic minority students

Research article included in a special conference proceedings issue. Research originally presented at a poster session at the meeting of the CfID, Making Diversity Interventions Count in Organisational Performance and Service Delivery, University of Bradford, Norcroft Center, England. Research funded by the University of Phoenix Research Institute


Career colleges may have an important role in addressing the educational needs of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in higher education, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans/Alaska Natives. This study focused on examining the extent to which career colleges meet the needs of these ethnic racial and minority students in states with the highest educational needs through analysis of publicly available data from NCHEMS, the Educational Needs Index, the American Community Survey, and College Navigator (IPEDS) on a sample of 114 for-profit career colleges and 40 public/not-for-profit colleges. Racial/ethnic categories corresponded to categories reported in the IPEDS dataset. Career colleges outperformed other colleges in graduating students from these racial and ethnic minority backgrounds. Career colleges successful at enrolling, retaining, and/or graduating students from one racial or ethnic minority group appear to benefit students who are members of other racial or ethnic minority groups. Students may see that members of another racial or ethnic minority group can succeed in higher education and think that they can succeed, too. The results suggest narrowly focused diversity efforts on specific racial or ethnic student subpopulations may derive benefit across multiple subpopulations of students from racial and ethnic minority groups.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Heitner, K. L.
Sherman, K. C.
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture
Special Issue: Reframing Diversity Interventions in Austere Times
Date Published: 
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Publication Language: 

Additional content will be provided upon request.