Trio Student Support Services: A Comparative Study of African Americans at Three Texas Universities

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Fall 2013


Although access to postsecondary education for ethnic minorities has increased since desegregation in 1954, the college completion rates for these groups have not, particularly for African Americans. For this reason, it is important to continue to examine strategies that contribute to increases in completion rates for African Americans. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in 6-year graduation rates, cumulative grade point average (GPA), total credits earned of first-time, full-time freshmen African American male and female students who participated in TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) and those who did not for the 2004-05 cohort at three 4-year public institutions in Texas. In addition, the study examined 1-year retention rates for the two populations and services available to African American TRIO SSS participants. Three quantitative instruments were used in the study. The instrument used to collect descriptive data for students was the Annual Student Support Services Performance Review (APR) 2004-05 application. A modified version of the application was used to collect descriptive information for nonparticipants. In addition, the researcher designed an online survey that TRIO directors completed to record general demographic data on the TRIO SSS departments. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data on graduation rates, gender, race/ethnicity, degree completion, and credits earned for TRIO SSS participants and nonparticipants. The chi-Square and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) methods were used to analyze the graduation rates, grade point averages, and total credits earned for the two populations. Data revealed that African American male and female TRIO SSS participants graduated at lower rates than African American male and female nonparticipants. Fewer TRIO SSS male participants graduated than were expected, however, there were only five in the study. On average, TRIO SSS males and females have slightly lower cumulative GPAs than non-TRIO male and female students. TRIO SSS participants earned fewer total credits than nonparticipants. The overall 6-year graduation rates by institution showed, depending on the university, more non-TRIO students graduated than were expected. In review of cumulative GPA by institution, differences existed in GPA among the three institutions.


Joyce Scott

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education