Factors influencing the retention and academic achievement of Hispanic women in a community college

Mildred Borras-Lopez, Fordham University


This study explored seven factors related to retention and academic achievement for a group of Hispanic females attending a community college in New York City. The factors examined were: level of acculturation, self-esteem, goals, locus of control, influence of significant others, knowledge of college resources, and prior educational history. The study of these factors was based on the factors proposed by Bean and Metzner in their conceptual model of attrition for nontraditional students. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was conducted with the 11 analytically derived factors obtained by SPSSX. These 11 factors measured ability to complete tasks, likeability, clarity of vocational goals, knowledge of support services, competing family responsibilities, support for one's educational efforts, academic locus of control, academic self-concept, belief in external controls, self-denial, and use of counseling services. Interviews with 20 students were conducted to corroborate or add information to the findings of the questionnaires. The results of the regression analysis with the analytically derived factors indicated that academic self-concept was statistically significant as a predictor of GPA but not retention. Retention and GPA were predicted by Factor 1, which measured self-perceived task completion ability in the Retention Questionnaire. None of the remaining variables were statistically significant in predicting GPA or retention. The results of the interviews indicated that outside encouragement, self-interest and self-gratification, clear and specific goals, and use of college resources have a positive impact on retention and GPA. The factors identified during the interviews and from the regression analysis seemed to corroborate some of the factors in the Bean and Metzner model. The interviews seemed to agree with Bean and Metzner areas of goal commitment and outside encouragement. One important area identified by this research study which is not included in Bean and Metzner model is ability to complete tasks. It is recommended for future retention research studies with Hispanic females that the variables of academic self-concept and task completion ability be taken into consideration. Given the results obtained in this study, the use of qualitative data collection with this specific population is highly recommended.

Subject Area

Higher education|Community colleges|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Borras-Lopez, Mildred, "Factors influencing the retention and academic achievement of Hispanic women in a community college" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9136315.