Advertisement

Research in Higher Education

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 127–145 | Cite as

Student Involvement in Ethnic Student Organizations: Examining Civic Outcomes 6 Years After Graduation

  • Nicholas A. Bowman
  • Julie J. Park
  • Nida Denson
Article

Abstract

Few college experiences elicit as much controversy as racial/ethnic student organizations. Critics argue that these student groups promote racial division and segregation, whereas supporters counter these claims and suggest instead that they facilitate college adjustment, learning, and growth. Clearly, some students are quite predisposed to participate (or not participate) in these organizations, which can lead to significant challenges when trying to determine the impact of this form of engagement. The present study used multilevel propensity score matching analyses to explore the relationships between racial/ethnic student organizations and post-college civic outcomes within a 10-year longitudinal sample of 8,634 alumni from 229 institutions. The results indicate that participation is significantly and positively associated with numerous civic behaviors and attitudes 6 years after graduation. Moreover, these findings are similar regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, or institution.

Keywords

Racial/ethnic student organization Post-college outcomes Civic engagement Propensity score matching College students 

References

  1. Akers, A. (2010). Determination of the optimal number of strata for bias reduction in propensity score matching. Dissertation Abstracts International, 71(8), 58A (UMI No. 3417726).Google Scholar
  2. Antonio, A. L. (2001). Diversity and the influence of friendship groups in college. The Review of Higher Education, 25, 63–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college: 4 critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  4. Baker, C. N. (2008). Under-represented college students and extracurricular involvement: The effects of various student organizations on academic performance. Social Psychology of Education, 11, 273–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Banks, J. A. (2012). Encyclopedia of diversity in education. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barajas, H. L., & Pierce, J. L. (2001). The significance of race and gender in school success among Latinas and Latinos in college. Gender & Society, 15, 859–878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowman, N. A. (2010). Can 1st-year college students accurately report their learning and development? American Educational Research Journal, 47, 466–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowman, N. A. (2011). Promoting participation in a diverse democracy: A meta-analysis of college diversity experiences and civic engagement. Review of Educational Research, 81, 29–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowman, N. A., & Brandenberger, J. W. (2012). Experiencing the unexpected: Toward a model of college diversity experiences and attitude change. Review of Higher Education, 35, 179–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bowman, N. A., & Park, J. J. (2014). Interracial contact on college campuses: Comparing and contrasting predictors of cross-racial interaction and interracial friendship. Journal of Higher Education, 85, 660–690.Google Scholar
  11. Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1966). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  12. Chang, M. J. (2002). Racial dynamics on campus: What student organizations can tell us. About Campus, 7, 2–8.Google Scholar
  13. Chang, M. J., Astin, A. W., & Kim, D. (2004). Cross-racial interaction among undergraduates: Some consequences, causes, and patterns. Research in Higher Education, 45, 529–553.Google Scholar
  14. Cochran, W. G. (1968). The effectiveness of adjustment by subclassification in removing bias in observational studies. Biometrics, 24, 295–313.Google Scholar
  15. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  16. Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  17. D’Souza, D. (1991). Illiberal education: The politics of race and sex on campus. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  18. Denson, N., & Bowman, N. A. (2013). University diversity and preparation for a global society: The role of diversity in shaping intergroup attitudes and civic outcomes. Studies in Higher Education, 38, 555–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Denson, N., & Chang, M. J. (2009). Racial diversity matters: The impact of diversity-related student engagement and institutional context. American Educational Research Journal, 46, 322–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Stewart, T. L., Esses, V. M., Vergert, M., & Hodson, G. (2004). From intervention to outcome: Processes in the reduction of bias. In W. G. Stephan & W. P. Vogt (Eds.), Education programs for improving intergroup relations (pp. 243–265). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  21. Engberg, M. E. (2007). Educating the workforce for the 21st century: A cross-disciplinary analysis of the impact of the undergraduate experience on students’ development of a pluralistic orientation. Research in Higher Education, 48, 283–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Feldman, K. A., & Newcomb, T. M. (1969). The impact of college on students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  23. Gonzalez, K. P. (2003). Campus culture and the experiences of Chicano students in a predominantly White University. Urban Education, 37, 193–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guiffrida, D. A. (2003). African American student organizations as agents of social integration. Journal of College Student Development, 44, 304–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Guo, S., & Fraser, M. W. (2010). Propensity score analysis: Statistical methods and applications. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Gurin, P., Dey, E. L., Hurtado, S., & Gurin, G. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72(3), 330–367.Google Scholar
  27. Harper, S. R., Byars, L. F., & Jelke, T. B. (2005). How membership affects college adjustment and African American undergraduate student outcomes. In T. L. Brown, G. S. Parks, & C. M. Phillips (Eds.), African American fraternities and sororities: The legacy and the vision (pp. 393–416). Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.Google Scholar
  28. Harper, S. R., & Quaye, S. J. (2007). Student organizations as venues for Black identity expression and development among African American male student leaders. Journal of College Student Development, 48, 127–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Heck, R. H., & Thomas, S. L. (2008). An introduction to multilevel modeling techniques (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Holmes, W. M. (2013). Using propensity scores in quasi-experimental designs. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Hong, G., & Raudenbush, S. W. (2005). Effects of kindergarten retention policy on children’s cognitive growth in reading and mathematics. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27, 205–224.Google Scholar
  32. Hong, G., & Raudenbush, S. W. (2006). Evaluating kindergarten retention policy: A case study of causal inference for multilevel observational data. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 101, 901–910.Google Scholar
  33. Hurtado, S. (2005). The next generation of diversity and intergroup relations research. Journal of Social Issues, 61, 595–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hurtado, S., Han, J. C., Saenz, V. B., Espinosa, L. L., Cabrera, N. L., & Cerna, O. S. (2007). Predicting transition and adjustment to college: Biomedical and behavioral science aspirants’ and minority students’ 1st year of college. Research in Higher Education, 48, 841–887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hurtado, S., Milem, J. F., Clayton-Pedersen, A. R., & Allen, W. R. (1999). Enhancing diverse learning environments: Improving the climate for racial/ethnic diversity in higher education (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 26-8). Washington, DC: George Washington University.Google Scholar
  36. Inkelas, K. K. (2004). Does participation in ethnic cocurricular activities facilitate a sense of ethnic awareness and understanding? A study of Asian Pacific American Undergraduates. Journal of College Student Development, 45, 285–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jaccard, J., & Turrisi, R. (2003). Interaction effects in multiple regression. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Kimbrough, W. M., & Hutcheson, P. A. (1998). The impact of membership in Black Greek Letter organizations on Black students’ involvement in collegiate activities and their development of leadership skills. The Journal of Negro Education, 67, 96–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Luke, D. A. (2004). Multilevel modeling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  40. Meyer, P., & McIntosh, S. (1992). The USA Today index of ethnic diversity. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 4, 51–58.Google Scholar
  41. Milem, J. F., Umbach, P. D., & Liang, C. T. H. (2004). Exploring the perpetuation hypothesis: The role of colleges and universities in desegregating society. Journal of College Student Development, 45, 688–700.Google Scholar
  42. Museus, S. D. (2008). The role of ethnic student organizations in fostering African American and Asian American students’ cultural adjustment and membership at predominantly White institutions. Journal of College Student Development, 49, 568–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nora, A., Barlow, L., & Crisp, G. (2005). Student persistence and degree attainment beyond the 1st year in college. In A. Seidman (Ed.), College student retention: Formula for success (pp. 129–153). Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  44. Orfield, G. (2009). Reviving the goal of an integrated society: A 21 st century challenge. Los Angeles: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.Google Scholar
  45. Park, J. J. (2009). Are we satisfied? A look at student satisfaction with diversity at traditionally White institutions. Review of Higher Education, 32, 291–320.Google Scholar
  46. Park, J. J. (2012). “Man, this is hard”: A case study of how race and religion affect cross-racial interaction for Black students. The Review of Higher Education, 35, 567–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Park, J. J. (2013). When diversity drops: Race, religion, and affirmative action in higher education. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Park, J. J., & Denson, N. (2009). Attitudes and advocacy: Understanding faculty views on racial/ethnic diversity. Journal of Higher Education, 80, 415–438.Google Scholar
  49. Park, J. J., & Kim, Y. K. (2013). Interracial friendship, structural diversity, and peer groups: Patterns in Greek, religious, and ethnic student organizations. The Review of Higher Education, 37(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Park, J. J., Denson, N., & Bowman, N. A. (2013). Does socioeconomic diversity make a difference? Examining the effects of racial and socioeconomic diversity on the campus climate for diversity. American Educational Research Journal, 50, 466–496.Google Scholar
  51. Pascarella, E. T., Salisbury, M. H., & Blaich, C. (2013). Design and analysis in college impact research: Which counts more? Journal of College Student Development, 54, 329–335.Google Scholar
  52. Pastor, J. F. (2010). Terrorism and public safety policing: Implications for the Obama presidency. Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  53. Petersen, T. (1985). A comment on presenting results from logit and probit models. American Sociological Review, 50, 130–131.Google Scholar
  54. Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2006). A meta-analytic test of intergroup contact theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 751–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Piaget, J. (1971). The theory of stages in cognitive development. In D. R. Green, M. P. Ford, & G. B. Flamer (Eds.), Measurement and Piaget (pp. 1–111). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  56. Piaget, J. (1975/1985). The equilibrium of cognitive structures: The central problem of intellectual development, Chicago:University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  57. Porter, S. R. (2011). Do college student surveys have any validity? Review of Higher Education, 35, 45–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  59. Ruble, D. N. (1994). A phase model of transitions: Cognitive and motivational consequences. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 26, pp. 163–214). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  60. Saenz, V. B. (2010). Breaking the segregation cycle: Examining students’ precollege racial environments and college diversity experiences. Review of Higher Education, 34, 1–37.Google Scholar
  61. Saenz, V. B., Ngai, H. N., & Hurtado, S. (2007). Factors influencing positive interactions across race for African American, Asian American, Latino, and White college students. Research in Higher Education, 48, 1–38.Google Scholar
  62. Sargent, R. S., Jr. (2003). The balkanization of college campuses. Capitalism Magazine. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from http://capitalismmagazine.com/2003/01/the-balkanization-of-college-campuses/.
  63. Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference (2nd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  64. Snijders, T. A. B., & Bosker, R. (2012). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  65. Steiner, P. M., Cook, T. D., Shadish, W. R., & Clark, M. H. (2010). The importance of covariate selection in controlling for selection bias in observational studies. Psychological Methods, 15, 250–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Taylor, S. H. (1994). Enhancing tolerance: The confluence of moral development with the college experience. Dissertation Abstracts International, 56 (01), 114A. (UMI No. 9513291).Google Scholar
  67. Thomas, S. L., & Heck, R. H. (2001). Analysis of large-scale secondary data in higher education research: Potential perils associated with complex sampling designs. Research in Higher Education, 42, 517–540.Google Scholar
  68. Thyer, B. A. (2012). Quasi-experimental research designs. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  70. Umbach, P. D., & Kuh, G. D. (2006). Student experiences with diversity at liberal arts colleges: Another claim for distinctiveness. Journal of Higher Education, 77, 169–192.Google Scholar
  71. Zúñiga, X., Williams, E. A., & Berger, J. B. (2005). Action-oriented democratic outcomes: The impact of student involvement with campus diversity. Journal of College Student Development, 46, 660–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas A. Bowman
    • 1
  • Julie J. Park
    • 2
  • Nida Denson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Higher Education and Student AffairsBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.University of Western SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations