DEVELOPMENTAL STUDENTS’ PERSISTENCE TOWARDS GRADUATION IN PAIRED COURSEWORK PROGRAMS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICAN & LATINO MALES IN COMMUNITY COLLEGES
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This quantitative causal-comparative research study investigated the effect of participation in accelerated paired course programs on the persistence of African American and Latino male developmental education students at Lone Star College, a community college system in Houston, Texas. Seeking to reduce high rates of attrition among its developmental education students, the college introduced paired courses, in which developmental education students could pair their developmental courses with college-level courses or other supplemental programs. Using Tinto’s Model of Student Integration and Expectancy-Value Theory as a framework, the researcher hypothesized that accelerating the completion of developmental education course sequences through course pairings would reduce time towards graduation and costs associated with degree completion, thus increasing persistence towards graduation among the college’s male students of color. Archival data consisting of enrollment records for an academic year were analyzed using Fisher’s Exact Test to test the null hypothesis, with persistence defined as students who were enrolled during the fall semester and re-enrolled the following spring semester. Results indicated that both paired-course African American and Latino male developmental education students showed higher rates of persistence compared to their counterparts who were enrolled in both mainstream with supplemental support courses and unpaired courses. Results also indicated that while any type of course pairing increased persistence for African American male developmental students, the same relationship was not present among their Latino male peers. The study’s findings contribute to literature on community college student persistence and have implications for how methods of accelerating developmental education sequences can impact the persistence of students of color.