Voices and Viewpoints

Highlighting Conditions of Texan Transfers

by Sal Nudo / Apr 7, 2020

Developing transfer policies and programming that center on the culture of student transfer for Latinx and Tejanx students in Texas is a crucial endeavor, according to a March research brief co-written by Dr. José Del Real Viramontes and Dr. Luis Urrieta Jr.

The study by Del Real Viramontes and Urrieta covers the limitations, affordances, and experiences that Latinx community college students go through and centers on individuals who transfer to four-year colleges and universities in Texas.

The researchers conducted case studies on six higher education institutions in Texas and discovered encouraging efforts toward helping students who were considering transferring, as well as, generally, a commitment to making transfer a central part of their mission.

The authors found that the current policies and practices of these institutions are not growing access, retention, and graduation rates for Latinx and Tejanx community college students.

Nonetheless, using the Latinx transfer culture model of Pérez and Ceja (2010), the authors found that the current policies and practices of these institutions are not growing the access, retention, and graduation rates for Latinx and Tejanx community college students.

The scholars highlight education conditions in Texas that lead Latinx students into community colleges in the first place, citing historic school segregation as one example of hardships these students face. According to data accumulated by Del Real Viramontes and Urrieta, segregated schools in Texas offer lesser-quality schooling that is often taught by teachers who are noncertified, leading to students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds being less prepared to attend four-year institutions.

The brief also points out that the culturally responsive component is missing in the outreach programming of these schools, and that financial aid and scholarships are not specifically given to racial-minority transfer students.

Students in Texas believe community colleges in the state should upgrade transfer articulation agreements to ensure their prerequisite classes to transfer are complete, according to the piece. They also say helpful, supportive advisors and introductions to the admissions office at four-year institutions are crucial areas of assistance for them during the transfer process.

Del Real Viramontes and Urrieta believe that not addressing the issues they discovered from their study will mean Latinx and Tejanx students who are pursuing a higher education will continue to do so at a low rate and with less overall success. Their recommendations to fix these issues include:

  1. Developing culturally relevant outreach programs that focus on specific needs, including financial needs.
  2. Developing guaranteed admissions pathways into four-year institutions for Latinx community college students.
  3. Developing programs that increase the retention and graduation rates of Latinx community college students, including scholarships and financial awards.

The authors conclude that, given the demographics that surround these concerns, it is important for Texas and other states to urgently advance efforts that increase access, retention, and graduation for this student population.

The case studies by the authors were done at the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, and Texas Tech University. Read their brief, “Transfer Conditions for Latinx Tejanx Community College Students.”

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