Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Edward Neukrug

Committee Member

Jason Osborne

Committee Member

Timothy Grothaus


Research indicates disparities in the enrollment of minorities in postsecondary education. However, the reasons for the lower enrollment rates of minorities are less clear. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between sex, income, GPA, racial/ethnic identity, academic self-concept, and sense of school belonging for African American and Latino/Latina students with level of enrollment at postsecondary schools (two-year community college or four-year university). Participants included 256 African American and Latino/Latina students at two-year community colleges and four-year universities in Virginia. GPA and academic self-concept were found to be predictors of enrollment. Specifically, students with higher GPAs are 5.4 times more likely to enroll in a four-year university and students with higher academic self-concept are 1.8 times more likely to enroll in a two-year community college, when controlling for all other variables. There was also a significant interaction of race and sex on academic self-concept, specifically that African American males had the lowest academic self-concept. No group differences were found between African Americans and Latinos/Latinas in ethnic identity, sense of school belonging, and academic self-concept. The limitations of the current study as well as implications for educators and counselors are also presented.


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