Effect of organizational environments on the status attainment of students of color and majority students: a general linear model analysis
John H. Schuh
This study sought to determine if the graduation rates of students of color and majority students at public, research extensive and intensive institutions could be predicted by institutional resource allocation activities in the context of both the internal and external environments of universities. The independent variables for the internal environment were expenditures in regard to instruction, academic support, student services, institutional grants (scholarships, fellowships), research, public service, institutional support, plant operation and maintenance, and institutional selectivity. The independent variables for the external environment were geographical region and degree of urbanization. The independent variables for the internal environment were calculated in two ways: (1) the actual dollars spent per student in each expenditures category and (2) the percentage each category represented of the institution's total E & G expenditures. The dependent variables were the six-year cohort (undergraduate) graduation rates of students disaggregated according to race as well as the overall student graduation rates. IPEDS and Education Trust's Online Graduation Survey provided the data for the study. This study examined the graduation rates for two successive cohorts of students;Results indicated that institutional expenditures did have an important effect on graduation rates. The one consistently important finding in this study is the importance of research expenditures in affecting the graduation rates of students of color and majority students at public, research extensive and intensive institutions;The results of this study may have important implications for university administrators, such as providing support for the increase in research expenditures. By focusing on disaggregated data for graduation rates, this study broke new ground in identifying what institutional expenditures had an effect on the graduation rates of which undergraduate student group based on race/ethnicity. This study also identified the important role of urbanization in society and its effect on the graduation rates of all students, students of color and majority students. In view of demographic changes taking place in U.S. society in the 21st century, further research may need to be done in the areas identified in this study: institutional research expenditures, geographical regions and degree of urbanization.