The effects of on-site child care arrangements on associate degree attainment among poor urban women in the Bronx, New York

Nancy K Ritze, Fordham University

Abstract

This investigation utilized theoretical elements from both persistence and attrition models of post-secondary student persistence to specifically assess the effects of on-site child care arrangements on the associate degree attainment among women with children who attend a public urban community college, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. It was hypothesized that utilization of on-site child care arrangements would exert both a positive and direct effect on student performance and attainment as well as exerting a positive and indirect effect on educational attainment through social integration.^ The primary data base was constructed from the College's longitudinal data files to include three years of academic data for the entire Fall 1991 entering cohort of women with children at the College. Educational attainment was measured for this group by a three-year persistence rate, which includes all students who are still registered or graduated by the three year point in time. A supplemental data base was constructed to assess the short-term, semester-to-semester persistence profile of women with children who were registered at the College in Spring 1994 and who completed a detailed survey instrument. Finally, in-depth interviews were conducted to highlight the statistical findings.^ Statistical data were analyzed utilizing a hierarchical logistic regression technique. The results of these tests reveal that women who utilize the on-site child care center have significantly higher persistence rates. After controlling for environmental and characteristic factors, the on-site child care center participants are six times more likely to persist and four times more likely to graduate in three years than other women with children at the College. Furthermore, on-site child care participation exerts an indirect effect on persistence through social integration.^ These findings suggest that both structural factors (like need for and availability of child care) and socio-cultural conditions (like enhanced social integration) are significant components of educational (and ultimately occupational/social/economic) attainment among a nontraditional college student population. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

Recommended Citation

Nancy K Ritze, "The effects of on-site child care arrangements on associate degree attainment among poor urban women in the Bronx, New York" (January 1, 1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9628350.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9628350

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