Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Evangeline McConnell McJamerson


This study examined the six-year college participation of students entering Louisiana public undergraduate higher education in Fall 1982. Motivation for the study stemmed from several educational conditions in Louisiana: a lower graduation rate than that of the nation, disparities in the graduation rates of Black students and White students, and administrative considerations for the restructuring of public higher education. The purposes of the study were: (1) to describe the population by selected characteristics and (2) to identify participation differences in enrollment, persistence, and achievement among sub-groups classified by: (a) race and gender, (b) developmental program participation, and (c) institutional types (by degrees granted and predominant race). Information for the analysis came from magnetic tape provided by the Louisiana Board of Regents. Subjects for the study were 19,855 first-time freshmen entering undergraduate institutions of Louisiana public higher education on a full-time basis in Fall 1982. Criteria for inclusion were designation as Black or White and documented Louisiana residence, gender, date of birth, and ACT composite scores. Other variables describing students included (a) enrollment status for each academic session from Fall 1982 through Spring 1988, (b) academic major at entry, (c) transfer status, (d) developmental status, (e) highest classification gained, (f) graduation status, and (g) enrollment by institutional types (two- or four-year and predominantly Black or White) at college entry. Distributions and regression procedures facilitated statistical analysis. The study documented (a) predictors of persistence and graduation (in order of general contribution) to be higher ACT scores, non-transfer status, non-developmental status, entry into four-year institutions, entry into predominantly Black institutions, younger age, and female gender; (b) choices of major in mathematics/sciences, business, and education to indicate graduation more often than other majors; (c) disproportionately lower rates of participation for Black students (particularly males) than for White students; (d) higher rates of enrollment, but lower rates of persistence and graduation for developmental than non-developmental students; (e) lower rates of participation for those entering two-year colleges; and (f) lower rates of enrollment, but higher rates of persistence and graduation for (Black) students entering predominantly Black institutions.