Repositioning Trends of Latina/o/x Student Enrollments in Community Colleges

  • Desiree D. Zerquera
  • Nancy Acevedo-Gil
  • Elizabeth Flores
  • Patrick Marantal


This study used descriptive statistics to complicate the national narrative of Latina/o/x student college-going trends and aims to provide directions for future research on Latina/o/x students in the community college. Taking a state-by-state perspective, this study examined whether Latina/o/x college students enrolled in community colleges at higher rates than four-year colleges. The data for this study derived primarily from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) enrollment survey for all states and sectors of higher education for the 2012-2013 academic year. We used geographic information systems (GIS) to spatially analyze and compare proportions of Latina/o/x undergraduate enrollments between sectors within states, then across states. Our analysis disaggregated enrollment data by state to reveal important variations among Latina/o/x student enrollments at community colleges across the U.S. In so doing, we aim to inform the work of researchers, policy makers, administrators and educators in efforts to support the educational pathways of Latina/o/x students in the U.S.