Examining how Athletic Staff Influence Latinx College Athletes Intent to Graduate

Guillermo Ortega – Idaho State University
Melody Alanis – Texas A&M University-College Station
Allison Smith – University of Massachusetts-Boston

The participation of Latinx college athletes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association is becoming evident, yet little research exists on examining their likelihood to graduate. Thus, we used the Student-Athlete Climate Study (SACS) dataset and Nora’s (2003) Student Engagement/Institutional Model to examine how athletic staff is related to Latinx college athletes’ intent to graduate. Using a logistic regression, we found that high school GPA was a significant predictor to understand Latinx college athletes’ intent to graduate. Additionally, Latinx college athletes who interacted with their faculty outside the classroom had higher odds of intending to graduate. Next, Latinx college athletes who identified as STEM majors had higher odds of intending to graduate compared to non-STEM majors. When examining athletic department interactions, we found a positive association between Latinx college athletes’ interactions with teammates and their head coach. The findings in this study have implications for the NCAA, athletic departments, and higher education institutions to measure the graduation rates for Latinx college athletes.