Do Community Colleges Promote Postsecondary and Labor Market Success for First-Generation Students
Author(s): Ampaw, F., Partlo, M., Hullender, T., & Wagner, N.
Citation: Ampaw, F., Partlo, M., Hullender, T., & Wagner, N. (2015). Do Community Colleges Promote Postsecondary and Labor Market Success for First-Generation Students. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 27(1), 9-28.
Community colleges are becoming the primary access point for a growing number of underrepresented and underserved students in the higher education system. First-generation college students make up a large proportion of this population, comprising about 45% of community college attendees (Nomi, 2005). Research has explored the transfer success of community college students in general, but very little is known about the transfer and labor market outcomes of first-generation community college students postgraduation. This study uses propensity score matching to compare the college persistence, degree-completion rates, and labor market outcomes of first-generation students who began their studies at a community college versus those who began at a four-year institution. The results show that first-generation community college students who successfully transfer and graduate with a bachelor's degree have similar labor market outcomes to their peers who start at a four-year institution.