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Looking for coherence in support services for minority students at community colleges

Lynne D Quintin, Johnson & Wales University


Community colleges are experiencing increasing enrollments of racial and ethnic minorities yet, minority educational attainment has not increased significantly over the past twenty-five years. There is limited research to assist these institutions in designing and implementing effective programs to change these circumstances for minority students. Community colleges need strategies to address this problem and repair what has been referred to as the leaking pipeline for Hispanics and other minority populations (Rendón & Nora, 1988). Hence, the objective of this research was to examine the services that are provided to minority students at community colleges in Southern New England and determine the characteristics of models or best practices being used to deliver these services. To study this problem, a sample of community colleges in Southern New England was used. This dissertation presents results that (1) describe the designs and implementations of programs and services for the minority populations at community colleges; (2) identify characteristics of models or best practices of multicultural services that may exist among public two-year colleges; (3) provide recommendations for community colleges that will assist these institutions as they design services and programs to improve success for minority students. The study's findings suggest that while there are elements of best practices and characteristics of models for delivering services at community colleges, there is little coherence in the manner is which programs are designed or implemented for the benefit of minority students. Community colleges are providing a wide range of interventions and initiatives to assist students, but they are not actively engaged in outreach or research to determine if these services or programs are useful or appropriate for the students being served. Little evidence was found to support the assumption that community colleges are committed to improving the educational outcomes or experiences for minority students. The findings suggest that these institutions are essentially acting from a deficit model that assumes that remedial programs and services are primarily what are needed to accommodate student diversity.

Subject Area

Community colleges|Academic guidance counseling|Bilingual education|Multicultural education

Recommended Citation

Quintin, Lynne D, "Looking for coherence in support services for minority students at community colleges" (2002). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3055174.