Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 13
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in-college population at TWU was 778 with 24% (188) being Hispanic (TWU Fact Book, 2008).
There has been an increase in the Hispanic population at TWU over the past five years with the
expectation of this population continuing to grow. TWU has plans to become a designated
Hispanic-Serving Institute requiring the institution to have at least 25% of its total enrollment
consist of Hispanic students. TWU estimates that an 85% retention rate of Hispanic students
from the first year to the second year of college is needed to achieve this designation (R.
Nicholas, personal communication, October 29, 2009). The retention rate from 2008 to 2009
was 76.6% for the TWU Hispanic population (TWU Fact Book, 2009). This study allowed the
data to be separated by gender for focusing specifically on Hispanic females, an area lacking in
existing research. The researcher narrowed the time period of study from one year to decisions
made during one semester.
This research was limited to the population group of Hispanic females at a single
institution (Texas Woman's University). As such, it was necessarily restricted to those first
semester students who participated in the surveys (i.e., the pre-college survey assessing
expectations and the first semester). With respect to utility of the results of this study, the results
were applicable to the female Hispanic students' early college experiences. The results of this
study might not be clearly or immediately and wholly applicable to other groups, since it is well
known that attrition rates differ significantly among the major ethnic groups. While this
limitation was certainly present, it was very likely that some of the facets at work for the study
population would provide insight into the causes of attrition for other groups.
As surveys were administered in the summer prior to the fall semester 2008, some of the
original population surveyed were not enrolled in the fall and therefore were not present to
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Speed, Heather Faye. Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students, dissertation, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103396/m1/24/: accessed February 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .