Pre-College Factors Impacting Persistence at a Diverse University

Gloria S. Vaquera, John Carroll University
Ricardo Maestas, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology


Undergraduate student persistence has been widely studied over the past several decades; however, the majority of this research focuses on pre­ dominantly White institutions and fails to consider retention in a diverse context. To address this need, this exploratory study examined 3rd and 5th semester persistence of White and Hispanic students at a Hispanic serving institution. In addition to traditional pre-college factors found to impact persistence, previous academic preparation, degree intent. and social class background, we examined experiences with diversity prior to entering college. The results of the logistic regressions indicate that different factors impact White and Hispanic students Two of the three diversity experience variables, cultural awareness and racial composition of high school, were significant factors impact mg persistence. The most important predictor of retention was the college cumulative grade point average.