College of Education

Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL)

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Minority-Serving Community Colleges

This project has been completed and is no longer active.
However, we hope you are able to utilize its resources.

Of the 948 community colleges in the nation 306 are minority-serving community colleges (MSCCs). In Illinois, there are 20 private and public two- and four-year minority-serving institutions, 14 of which are publicly controlled MSCCs. These MSCCs are the primary pathway into postsecondary education for historically underrepresented and underserved students, particularly underrepresented racial minority students.  

Visit our frequently asked questions page for additional MSCCs resources and references.


OCCRL is conducting an exploratory study examining factors that influence student success in STEM (i.e. matriculation in courses required of most STEM majors) at public community colleges that are federal designated minority-serving institutions. The goal of this project is to bridge research and practice to strengthen student outcomes in STEM programs of study at minority-serving community colleges.

Research Questions

This study will endeavor to discern the following:

  1. What are the commonly employed structures, support services, and instructional strategies currently implemented in STEM programming at Illinois MSCCs?
  2. What are MSCC students’ plans to matriculate from community college STEM pathways and how does their engagement with MSCC programs, structures, and instructional strategies contribute to their plans?
  3. How does students’ knowledge of an institution’s MSI status, or lack thereof, shape how they navigate STEM pathways (i.e., course completion and transfer), if at all?