Pathway to a Baccalaureate in STEM Fields: Are Community Colleges a Viable Route?

This project examines the extent to which community colleges succeed in serving students who begin their postsecondary career at a community college but aspire to earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. This study uses the most recent data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study and the Postsecondary Education Transcript Study to examine the long-term effect of beginning at a community college on subsequent enrollment and baccalaureate attainment in STEM fields of study at four-year institutions. A propensity score matching approach will be extended to structural equation modeling in order to strengthen the study’s causal inferences and to account for the mediating effects of important college influences, such as college integration.


Xueli Wang


Completed on January 15, 2015