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Starting Early, Staying on Track: A Chronological Review of Critical Steps Along the Path to College Alberto F. Cabrera Professor Erin Ward Bibo Doctoral.

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Presentation on theme: "Starting Early, Staying on Track: A Chronological Review of Critical Steps Along the Path to College Alberto F. Cabrera Professor Erin Ward Bibo Doctoral."— Presentation transcript:

1 Starting Early, Staying on Track: A Chronological Review of Critical Steps Along the Path to College Alberto F. Cabrera Professor Erin Ward Bibo Doctoral Student Department of Educational Leadership, Higher Education, & International Education University of Maryland 1

2 Path To College is a Longitudinal Process Collegiate Experiences & Behaviors Academic Integration Social Integration Facilities & Services Climate & Diversity Persistence Transfer Stop-out C ompetencie s Satisfaction & Commitment Degree Completion Graduate School Employment & Income Job Performance Job Satisfaction Loan Repayment Financial Aid Mix Predisposition & choices Preparation for College Awareness of College Characteristics, Admission Standards, & Costs Family Encouragement & Involvement K-16 Communication & Engagement Aspirations & Plans Outcomes

3 1000 8th Graders in Not Qualified 134 Minimally Qualified 151 Qualified 477 Graduated 237 Did Not Graduate 132 Graduated 2 Did Not Graduate 151 Graduated 0 Did Not Graduate 70 Applied to 4-year Institution 407 Did Not Apply 46 Applied to 4-year Institution 86 Did Not Apply 99 Applied to 4-year Institution 52 Did Not Apply College Qualifications High School Graduation 4-year College Applications Institution Type of First Enrollment College Choice Process for 1000 Lowest SES Students Cabrera & La Nasa (2000). Understanding the college choice process. Jossey Bass

4 A Case for Starting Early  Preparation for college begins as early as the 7 th grade (Cabrera & LaNasa, 2000 ; Hossler, Schmit & Vesper, 1999)  Preparation for college is the result of a complex process marked by plans and expectations, curriculum choices, taking pre-college & college admission tests, applying for college, enrolling and succeeding in college (Adelman, 1999, 2006; Bowen, Chingos & McPherson, 2009; Cabrera & LaNasa, 2001; Cabrera, Burkum & LaNasa, 2005)  While 80% of 8 th graders expressed an intent to attend college, only 47% of high school graduates enroll in college (NCES,2010 ; Wimberly & Noeth, 2005)  What happens over this five-year period to create such a stark difference between aspiration and outcomes?  Students who particularly struggle through the transition to ninth grade are more likely to drop out of high school (Grossman & Cooney, 2009) 4

5 Why Focus on Low-Income Students?  Poorest 8 th grade students are more likely to be exposed to at-risk factors including:  History of high school dropouts in family  Raised by a single parent  Changing schools more than twice  Low-income students are more likely to drop out of high school than their peers (Cabrera & LaNasa, 2001; Cabrera, Burkum & LaNasa, 2005)  77% of poorest 8 th graders have parents unfamiliar with college (Cabrera & LaNasa, 2001; Cabrera et al., 2005)  Only 15% of low-income 8 th graders are college-qualified by the end of high school (Cabrera & LaNasa, 2001)  61% of low-income high school graduates start at community college, irrespective of their college qualifications (Cabrera & LaNasa, 2001; Cabrera et al., 2005)  Poorest students' baccalaureate degree completion rate lags nearly 44% behind that of their upper-SES counterparts (Cabrera et al., 2005) 5

6 Why Focus on Latino/a Students?  By 2020, Latinos will comprise 25% of the US school-age population (Pew Foundation,2005)  98% increase from 2005  Latino parents are less likely to have attended college than African American or White parents (Swail, Cabrera, Lee & Williams, 2004; Swail, Cabrera & Lee, 2005)  27.7% of Latino/a 8 th graders are college-qualified by the 12 th grade (Swail et al., 2004, 2005)  Compared to 47.4% of White 8 th graders  Latino students are 8 percentage points more likely to enroll in a 2-year institution than their White peers (Swail et al., 2004, 2005)  23.2% of Latino/a postsecondary students graduate with a four-year degree within 10 years of leaving high school (Swail et al, 2004, 2005)  Compared to 47.3% of White postsecondary students 6

7 Critical Steps Along the Path to College  Establishing Career & Educational Attainment Goals  Taking & Succeeding in College Preparatory Coursework  Learning about Postsecondary Options  Taking Pre-College & College Entrance Exams  Graduating High School  Applying to College  Enrolling in College  Successfully Transferring to a 4-year institution (among community college students)  Successfully Completing a Baccalaureate Degree 7

8 Critical Steps Along the Path to College: Achieving Each Task Establishing Career & Educational Attainment Goals Succeeding in College Preparatory Coursework Learning about Postsecondary Options Assert Career Goals, with Parent & School Support. Understand What Postsecondary Attainment Levels Are Required to Achieve Career Goals. Create a game plan to reflect career and educational aspirations by 8 th grade. Succeed Academically During Middle School. Parental involvement in high school course/track selection. Seek academic assistance from parents & school. Remind students of their game plan. Inform students of schools & programs related to career interests. Home & School Culture: College is a Foregone Conclusion Become college qualified. Learn about application requirements, aid. Visit campuses.

9 Critical Steps Along the Path to College: Achieving Each Task Taking Pre-College & College Entrance Exams Graduating High School Applying to College Secure information and assistance on SAT and ACT, including financial assistance opportunities. Research and participate in low or no-cost test-taking courses. Allot time to take test on multiple occasions. Preservation of college-going and career goals: end goal should not be HS graduation. Maintain continuous high school enrollment. Maintain GPA of 2.5 or higher. Parental support/involvement/ high expectations. Ensure student meets course requirements. Secure assistance in college application procedures. FAFSA Strategically apply to various institutions. Do not underestimate value student brings to college.

10 Critical Steps Along the Path to College: Achieving Each Task Enrolling in College Successfully Transferring to a 4-year institution Successfully Completing a Baccalaureate Degree Enroll immediately upon completion of High School Start at a four-year institution (if possible) Avoid summer melt Seek out work-study opportunities Start engaging faculty, peers and staff Develop transfer plan Make certain coursework taken is aligned with articulation agreements Take math & science courses even if they are not in your major (impress college admission officers) Maintain high GPA Be in constant communication with the college admission office Maintain continuous, full time enrollment Maintain high GPA Take math & science courses Work on campus in areas related to major up to certain number of hours per week Avoid assuming family responsibilities Engage in financial aid planning and seek debt advising Participate in multicultural education Participate in workshops & training on learning styles Use of validation strategies in the classroom & out of the classroom

11 What matters most for the attainment of a bachelors’ degree among Latina/o students?

12 The role of planning & parental expectations for Latino middle school students

13 The role of academic preparation

14 Postsecondary experiences: Performance in college

15 In Conclusion… Latino students are much more likely to earn a BA or higher if they:  are supported by their families in the pursuit of a postsecondary education  create a plan by the eighth grade  take three years of mathematics or more  start at a four-year institution  maintain continuous enrollment  Earn a GPA of 2.50 or above

16 Intervention strategies need to be Holistic, Sustained over time and involve Multiple Partners  Elementary Schools  Middle Schools  Two-Year Institutions  Four-Year Institutions  Business organizations  Community organizations  PTAs  GEAR-UP  TRIO

17 References Adelman, C. (1999). Answers in the tool box: Academic intensity, attendance patterns, and bachelor’s degree attainment. Document # PLLI Washington DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement Attewell, P. & Lavin, D.E. (2007). Passing the torch: Does Higher Education for the disadvantaged pay off across the generations? New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Bowen, W., Chingos, M.M. & McPherson, M. S. (2009). Crossing the finishing line: Completing college at America’s public universities. Princeton University. Bowen, W.G., Kurzweil, M.A., & Tobin, E.M. (2005). Equity and excellence in American higher education. The “elite” schools: Engines of opportunity or bastions of privilege? (pp ). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press. Hagedorn, L.S., Cabrera, A.F., & Prather, G. ( ) The Community College Transfer Calculator: Identifying the Course-Taking Patterns that Predict Transfer. Journal of College Student Retention, 12(1), Hossler, D., Schmit, J., & Vesper, N. (1999). Going to college: How social, economic, and educational factors influence the decisions students make. Maryland, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. 17

18 References Cabrera, A. F. & La Nasa, S. M. (2000). Understanding the college choice of disadvantaged students. New Directions for Institutional Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Cabrera, A. F. & La Nasa, S. M. (2001). On the path to college: Three critical tasks facing America’s disadvantaged. Research in Higher Education, 42(2), Cabrera, A. F., Burkum, K. R. & La Nasa, S. M. (2005). Pathways to a four year degree: Determinants of transfer and degree completion. In A. Seidman (Ed.). College Student Retention: A Formula for Student Success (pp ). ACE/Praeger series on Higher Education. Hossler, D., Schmit, J., & Vesper, N. (1999). Going to college: How social, economic, and educational factors influence the decisions students make. Maryland, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. 18

19 References McDonald, Botti & Clark (2007). From visibility to autonomy: Latinos in Higher Education in the US, University of Maryland, College Park Volkwein, J. F.(2010). Overcoming obstacles to campus assessment (pp ). In J. F. Volkwein (Editor). Spring Supplement. New Directions for Institutional Research. Volume Jossey-Bass. Swail, W. S., Cabrera, A.F., Lee, C., & Williams, A. (2004). Part I: From middle school to the work force: Latino students in the Educational Pipeline. Washington, DC.: The Educational Policy Institute. Swail, W. S., Cabrera, A. F. & Lee, Ch. (2005). Part II: Latino High School and Baccalaureate graduates: A comparison. The Pew Hispanic Center/USC Annenberg School for Communications.Washington, DC: Educational Policy Institute, Inc. Swail, W. S., Cabrera, A.F., Lee, C., & Williams, A. (2005). Part III: Pathways to the bachelor’s degree for Latino students. Washington, DC.: The Educational Policy Institute. 19


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