Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Improving Faculty Gender Equality as a Strategy of Improving Student Retention and Graduation: A Case Study for Public Higher Education Institutions in Mississippi
Jae-Young Ko, Ph.D.

High school graduates' demographic trend has shown a stagnant pattern lately, attributable to a lowered birth rate in the household over the years. Recruiting new incoming students and retaining enrolled students have become increasingly challenging and competitive among colleges and universities. As a component of student recruiting efforts, faculty gender equality has become prominent. The paper examined the association between faculty gender equality and student retention for the seven public universities in the State of Mississippi. A statistically significant relationship between the female faculty ratio and first-year student retention was found. Female faculty tend to spend more time than male faculty in service activities of engaging with students, resulting in increased retention and graduation among the undergraduate students. HBCUs show relatively lower ratios of female faculty than them in the PWIs in Mississippi. This paper suggested multiple policy options in increasing the female faculty from recruiting to retention.

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