Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education

Department

College of Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Messemer, Jonathan E.

Subject Headings

Education

Abstract

This study examined if and to what extent selected institutional services and special learning and credit opportunities in the 2-year private, for-profit college sector and community colleges in the United States are related to race, socioeconomic status and urbanicity. The researcher evaluated whether the institutional services and special learning and credit opportunities available to students at these 1,479 institutions are stratified by the socioeconomic and racial characteristics of their student bodies and their local communities, by institutional control, by the institution’s degree of urbanization, and the student financial aid characteristics. The researcher also investigated the relationship among institutional services, special learning and credit opportunities and multi-institutional and multi-campus organizations. Findings indicate that private, for profit institutions offer substantially fewer institutional services and special learning and credit opportunities than public institutions. Students at for-profit institutions, individuals who are older, more female, lower-socioeconomic minorities, have the fewest available institutional services and special learning and credit opportunities. They are also paying inflated tuition prices at institutions that generally do not invest in services and opportunities that benefit nontraditional students. Conversely, students attending public institutions, individuals who tend to be younger and White and who live in urban and suburban areas, receive a more robust selection of services and opportunities at more affordable tuition rates. Additionally, students who pay higher tuitions at public institutions may receive more special credit options, including credit for military service and credit for life experience. Nationally, for-profit colleges and community colleges located in suburban and urban areas tend to be located in communities with similar racial and socioeconomic characteristics. There tends to be more Hispanics/Latinos in communities surrounding for-profit colleges while there are more households with annual incomes of more than $100,000 per year surrounding public institutions. Lastly, relationships exist among multi-institutional and multi-campus organizations and the institutional services and special learning and credit opportunities offered at for-profit college campuses. Campuses owned/operated by the same organization tend to have similar institutional services and special learning and credit opportunities. However, variation may exist within a brand name and within other brands owned/operated by that organization.

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