While research suggests distance is an important factor in students’ college-going decisions for underrepresented and students with low income, the degree of influence remain unknown. Further, while California is home to 116 CCs, the concentration of universities in any given region has yet to be mapped to determine where university education deserts (UEDs) exist and whether they are more prevalent in areas with higher concentrations of Latinx students, thus compounding the issues of placeboundedness.
The proposed project will explore the role of UEDs as a barrier for transfer-motivated community college students, notably for Latinx students and students from low-income backgrounds.
The core questions driving the research are:
What is the demographic makeup of transfer-motivated community college students living in UEDs (having no public university within 25 miles of home that has an 80%+ acceptance rate?)? How does this differ from the demographic makeup of transfer-motivated community college students in regions of similar population size that do have accessible university options?
What relationship, if any, is there between living in a UED (having no public university within 25 miles of home that has an 80%+ acceptance rate) and the likelihood of transfer to a baccalaureate-granting institution among transfer-motivated students? Does this relationship vary as a function of student ethnicity and/or income status? Do other factors (e.g., community college level factors) mediate this relationship?