Student-faculty similarity and graduation outcomes for Hispanic/Latinx students

In our previous blog post, we examined the relationship between the demographic similarity of faculty to students on campus and six-year graduation rates for Black or African American students. Across Doctoral Universities and Master’s Universities, there is a positive association, as a higher representation of Black or African American faculty when compared to student representation on campus is positively correlated with higher graduation rates for Black or African American students. In this post, we turn our attention to data for Hispanic/Latinx students/faculty to see whether the same patterns found in the overall data exist within institutional types as defined by Carnegie Classification groups. There is also a discussion of other factors which are related to student outcomes in addition to the student-faculty similarity index.

Does institutional type influence the link between demographic similarity and graduation rates?

By way of review, the Location Quotient (LQ) scores on the x-axis in the two visualizations below show how closely the representation of Hispanic/Latinx faculty at a campus mirrors that of the student body. An LQ score of 1.0 represents a perfect match, with LQ scores below 1.0 showing underrepresentation of faculty, while scores above 1.0 show overrepresentation of faculty. Over 94-percent of the public universities in the IPEDS dataset have an LQ score below 1.0 for Hispanic/Latinx faculty and students. In the two visualizations below, the size of each mark is based on the total undergraduate enrollment in fall 2019. The color-coding scheme is associated with the institutional levels in the Carnegie Classification system. The vertical line at the 1.0 mark on the x-axis shows where there is a perfect match between demographic representation of students and faculty. The lines running left-to-right across the scatterplot shows the relationship between LQ Score and Graduation Rate for Hispanic/Latinx students. Texas universities are labeled for easier identification.

  • In the original post presenting the association across all Carnegie Classifications, the data for Hispanic/Latinx showed a negative association between LQ Score and Graduation Rate for Hispanic/Latinx students. 
  • When disaggregating the data by Carnegie Classification, there is a mixed trend. Within Doctoral institutions, the only positive association between LQ Score and Graduation Rate is at Doctoral: Very High Research institutions, represented by the dark blue line at the top of visualization. Both Doctoral: High Research (light blue line) and Doctoral/Professional (orange line) institutions have negative associations between LQ Score and Graduation Rate. 
  • In the original data, the average 6-year graduation rate for Hispanic/Latinx students who begin as first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students at Doctoral: Very High Research institutions was 67%. The average graduation rate for Doctoral: High Research universities for Hispanic/Latinx students was 49%, while Doctoral/Professional universities collectively had an average graduation rate of 43% for Hispanic/Latinx students.
  • At public four-year Master’s universities (seen by clicking on “LQ Score & Grad Rate (Masters)” in the visualization below), the positive association between LQ score and graduation rates for Hispanic/Latinx students is only seen at the Masters: Medium institutions. The average graduation rate in the original data was 45% for the Masters: Larger (dark grey line) institutions and was 40% for Masters: Medium (blue line) institutions. 
  • As in the Doctoral universities, the slopes for the two lines for the Master’s institutions are different. 

So What?

When taking the multiplicity of variables into account, including the hierarchical structure of universities being nested within Carnegie Classification groups, demographic similarity has a slightly negative influence on graduation rates for Hispanic/Latinx students, but the effect was not at a level of significance. Other variables, such as institutional selectivity, student preparedness, and Pell status, had greater effects on graduation outcomes for Hispanic/Latinx students at public universities in the US.

Regression analysis also serves as a way to measure where institutions are “predicted” to be in terms of 6-year graduation rates based on the combination of inputs in the statistical model. For the public universities with graduation rate data for Hispanic/Latinx students in the IPEDS dataset, the visualization below shows one example of how we could compare the “predicted” (gray box) graduation rate with the actual or “observed” (blue box) graduation rate at each institution. 

  • Where “OBS” (the blue box) is greater than “PRED” (the gray box), we would say that these institutions are out-performing their expected performance based on the statistical model predicted graduation rates.
  • Conversely, when “PRED” is greater than “OBS”, we would say these institutions are under-performing their expected graduation rates for Hispanic/Latinx students based on statistical model predictions.
  • Overall, 51% of the Doctoral and Masters institutions in the dataset performed “Better” than their predicted graduation rate for Hispanic/Latinx students, while 49% performed “Worse” than their predicted graduation rate.
  • Using the filters to the right, you can further explore the predicted versus observed data for 6-year graduation rates for Hispanic/Latinx students at Doctoral and Masters institutions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *