A Comparison of Texas' Closing the Gaps by 2015 Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Policy to Sreb-Member States


David Rankin

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Higher Edu and Learning Technology

Date of Award

Summer 2013


The purpose of this nonexperimental, causal-comparative study was to determine the retention and graduation rates of Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, and White (non-Hispanic) students at 4-year institutions of higher education in Texas since the implementation of the Closing the Gaps policy. Texas 4-year higher education institutions were compared to similar colleges and universities in the selected member states of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) which included Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Virginia. The data for entering full-time, first-time, degree-seeking undergraduates for years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 and graduation cohort completion data for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 were collected utilizing the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The data were aggregated according to Texas entering and completion data for Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, and White (non-Hispanic) individuals. Data were also collected and analyzed for the selected SREB-member states for entering and graduating cohorts for Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, and White (non-Hispanic) students. Descriptive statistics and independent-samples t tests were utilized to determine the effectiveness of Texas' Closing the Gaps policy compared to selected SREB-member states outside of Texas. Examination of the data showed that Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, and White (non-Hispanic) graduation rates have improved since the implementation of the policy. The data also revealed that in 2006 Texas' Black (non-Hispanic) and in 2007 White (non-Hispanic) graduation rates were significantly below the selected SREB-member states. The graduation rates of Black (non-Hispanic) and White (non-Hispanic) students improved and moved within the completion rate range of the selected SREB-member states. The data also demonstrated that Texas' Hispanic graduation rates remained consistently within the range of selected SREB-member states from 2006 to 2009.


Joyce Scott

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Technology