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Abstract

Career colleges may have an important role in addressing the educational needs of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in higher education, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans/Alaska Natives. This study focused on examining the extent to which career colleges meet the needs of these ethnic racial and minority students in states with the highest educational needs through analysis of publicly available data from NCHEMS, the Educational Needs Index, the American Community Survey, and College Navigator (IPEDS) on a sample of 114 for-profit career colleges and 40 public/not-for-profit colleges. Racial/ethnic categories corresponded to categories reported in the IPEDS dataset. Career colleges outperformed other colleges in graduating students from these racial and ethnic minority backgrounds. Career colleges successful at enrolling, retaining, and/or graduating students from one racial or ethnic minority group appear to benefit students who are members of other racial or ethnic minority groups. Students may see that members of another racial or ethnic minority group can succeed in higher education and think that they can succeed, too. The results suggest narrowly focused diversity efforts on specific racial or ethnic student subpopulations may derive benefit across multiple subpopulations of students from racial and ethnic minority groups.