Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael Miller

Committee Member

McCray, Suzanne

Second Committee Member

Murry, Jr., John W.


Latino, Midwestern, Retention, Retention cohorts


Higher education institutions do not have a history of being racially inclusive, and as a result, research and best practices around retention and student success have not been developed for underrepresented and minoritized students. Although there has been a surge in scholarship on diversifying higher education, literature, and identifying best practices focused on retaining students there is less research and literature that looks at Latino students. The study's purpose was to better understand Latino undergraduate student retention patterns at the University of Arkansas, a midwestern public four-year research university. The significance of the study was to assist UA administrators and student affairs professionals in using the findings of the study to create strategic programming and target retention initiatives for Latino undergraduate students. Data in the study was institutional pre-existing data gathered by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at the University of Arkansas. The data consists of retention cohorts at the University of Arkansas from 2009- 2018. The University of Arkansas institution collects data through students' applications for admissions and other self-reporting forms. The institution grouped students into retention cohorts. In the data sample, the overall student population was 38,154; of that total, there were 2,532 (6.6%) Latino undergraduate students. The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics to look at frequencies, percentages, and one-way ANOVAs. The findings in the research indicated that the Latino student profile was similar to the overall student population. However, about half of the Latino population in the study was first-generation and or low-income. The study also found that overall females had higher retention rates than Latino females, and overall males had higher retention rates than Latino males. In terms of GPA, Latino students had lower retention rates in than the overall student population except for those Latino students who were between a GPA of (3.6-3.9). In terms of area of study, Latino students had lower retention rates in most subcategories but had higher retention rates in Art and Sciences. Finally, the study found there is no significant difference when comparing retention rates of the Latino undergraduate sub-population when looking at gender, low-income status, first-generation status, and in-state status. The study shows the need for further research needed on Latino retention and more specifically the need for a retention theory that may be able to guide researchers through the complex identity of Latino students. This study shows that region, Midwest US in this case, place a role in the identities and experiences of Latino students.