"Improving Success among Community College Students" Robert Fairlie

January 27, 2015

Professor Robert Fairlie has been invited to present research on community college student success at the University of California Center-Sacramento.

Professor Fairlie will discuss two recent research projects of his that examine the relationship between community colleges and human capital. One type of human capital that is important especially for low-income populations is community college. A higher percentage of underrepresented minority students attend community colleges than 4-year colleges. Furthermore, according to the California Community College Office half of all students attending a 4-year college attended a community college. In one study, he examines whether providing improved access to computers could help low-income students on financial aid perform better in community college. In another recent research project with community colleges, he examines whether underrepresented minority students perform better when taught by underrepresented minority instructors.

Dr. Fairlie is Professor and Chair of Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has held visiting positions at Yale University, UC Berkeley, Australian National University, and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany. His research interests include entrepreneurship, education, technology, inequality, labor economics, and immigration. He has written several papers exploring the determinants of success among community college students including studies on whether minority students perform better in courses with minority instructors, the consequences of the digital divide, and how students respond to restricted course offerings. He has also written extensively on entrepreneurship and economic opportunity including a recent book entitled, "Race and Entrepreneurial Success: Black-, Asian-, and White-Owned Businesses in the United States" with MIT Press.