The Relationship between Faculty Diversity and Student Success in Public Community Colleges

James David Cross, Carol A. Carman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Community colleges serve the most diverse student populations in higher education yet have some of the lowest levels of faculty diversity in higher education. Retaining community college student cohorts through transfer/graduation is a goal, yet attaining this goal has been elusive, particularly for underrepresented minority (URM) community college students. Few studies have explored the impact of faculty diversity on the successful retention of URM community college students. This study used archival data for 120 public community colleges from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to calculate a Diversity Score for each college and ranked them by their overall level of faculty racial/ethnic variance to quantify the relationship between faculty diversity and student graduation, transfer, and drop-out rates. The findings suggest that there is a significant strong positive relationship between graduation, transfer, and drop-out rates for URM students of all race/ethnic categories when there are increases in faculty diversity. Exposure to a diverse faculty produces different outcomes in URM students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-868
Number of pages14
JournalCommunity College Journal of Research and Practice
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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