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The Use of Technology to Increase Access to USHE:. Leveling the Playing Field, or Widening the Socio-economic Chasm?. Week 5 Assignment: DRAFT 2 Initial Dissertation Prospectus HEOC 803: Dissertation Seminar Benedictine University John Smith-Coppes 7/29/2012. Prospectus Outline.

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The use of technology to increase access to ushe

The Use of Technology to Increase Access to USHE:

Leveling the Playing Field,

or Widening the

Socio-economic Chasm?

Week 5 Assignment: DRAFT 2

Initial Dissertation Prospectus

HEOC 803: Dissertation Seminar

Benedictine University

John Smith-Coppes

7/29/2012


Prospectus outline

Prospectus Outline

  • Chapter 1: Introduction

    • Problem Statement

    • Purpose Statement

    • Research Questions

    • Significance of the Study

  • Chapter 2: Review of the Literature

    • Review of the Literature

    • Identification of Key Sources

    • Themes, Framework, and Approach

    • Literature Matrix

  • Chapter 3: Proposed Methodology

    • Major Research Perspective

    • Type of Design

  • References/Bibliography to-date


Chapter 1 introduction

Chapter 1: Introduction

“We found that access to American higher education is unduly limited by the complex interplay of inadequate preparation, lack of information about college opportunities, and persistent financial barriers.” (Spellings, p.1)


Problem statement what we know and don t know

Problem Statement (what we know and don’t know)

Although many questions have been raised regarding the impact of technology on the actual processes surrounding the student life, learning framework, economic impact, and educational outcomes “on the campus,” relatively little has been addressed regarding the actual impact of technological vehicles being utilized by USHE (specifically, colleges and universities across the nation) for increasing real vs. perceived access to disparate bodies of college-bound student populations, often-times referred to as “awareness.”

Technology is rapidly reshaping the landscape of higher education. (Altbach, et al, 2005) Although USHE has focused collectively on the exploration of the utilization of technological applications for improving access, affordability, graduation rates, economies of scale, and learning outcomes in today’s higher education realm, the issue of equitably increasing transparent accessibility for the college-bound student has yet to be demonstrated; contrary to popular belief, technological advances and utilization of certain communication and information systems may be causing a greater social divide between geographically and economically disparate college-bound families, rather than actually bridging the information gap between families of varied socio-economic standards.


Purpose statement

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this qualitative, interpretive ethnographic study is to explore the phenomena of whether an increased institutional web-focus on admissions processes is creating the assumed dynamic of equitable and increased access for all, or rather is creating declining and disparate enrollments, as well as a perceived barrier to entry, for incoming USHE students from low socio-economic backgrounds, ultimately not bridging the information gap between families of varied socio-economic standards as initially expected.


Research questions

Research Questions

  • Distinct Research Questions:

    • Does the (existent or nonexistent) technological access available to low socio-economic students hinder the college-bound students’ attempts at researching and applying to the college and university of choice?

    • If the defined results and opinions of the research sample point to a perceived lack of access, does this perception vary from other socio-economic groups, and what changes can be made to overcome this obstacle (either real or perceived)?

    • Is there a direct or indirect correlation between the use of technology in exploring USHE opportunities, and the eventual outcomes of college-bound students from low-income neighborhoods and families?


Significance of the study

Significance of the Study

  • Adds to the research and literature in the field

    • Access is a significant contributor to college readiness; studies have shown that low-income students are generally least likely to have access to technology used to engage in the college-search process. (McDonough, 1997; Plank & Jordan, 2001; Roderick, et. al., 2009) However, little has been documented regarding the actual use of technology and web-based admissions processes vs. a more general focus on social capital and its impact on collegiate talent loss.

  • Improves practice & policy

    • A focus on the perceived technological divide will suit to ensure that college and university admissions departments are not simply throwing the admissions process “out there” blindly, but rather continue to focus on ways to ensure that all targeted demographic groups are actually gaining access to their information equally. Increased efforts with libraries, guidance counselors, and high school boards could result from such a study in an effort to bridge this divide.


Significance of the study cont

Significance of the Study, cont.

  • “The recent emphasis on widening participation and access to higher education assumes a uniformly positive process, yet the reality, particularly for working-class students, is often confusing and fraught with difficulties.” (Reay, 2003)

  • Prior research would suggest that an increasing and broadening chasm in regards to access would be activated through socio-economic factors. (Reay, 2003)

  • Ultimately, this qualitative research will show that although information is more readily-available and “accessible” to the general public than ever before in American history, we may actually be increasing the gap between those college-bound students that are able to find the information and those who are not.


Significance of the study cont1

Significance of the Study, cont.

  • Statement of Significance:

    • Through a deliberate qualitative study of a specific sample of high school guidance counselors from low-income communities, we can better understand the barriers that have arisen through increased technological availability, either real or perceived, that ultimately hinder these specific students from gaining full access and obtaining complete information regarding the realities of USHE opportunities available to them, and can thus begin to develop strategies to minimize the effects of this gap.

  • Audience Benefiting from this Research:

    • High School Guidance Counselors

    • USHE Admissions personnel

    • Enrollment Management Administration

    • Low Socio-economic Student Populations

    • Foundations dedicated to increasing equitable access to USHE (such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bremer Foundation, etc…)


Significance of the study cont2

Significance of the Study, cont.

  • Expected Outcomes:

    • Based upon the discovery of this research, it is anticipated that the perceptions of low-income college-bound students and their families will have demonstrated that a lack of technological access (either real or perceived) will have, in some manner, shaped and restricted the ultimate choice, decision, and/or direction in pursuing a post-secondary degree.

    • This research should provide a base for additional qualitative and quantitative study regarding methods in which institutions of USHE should continue to pursue the utilization of technology in attempts to increase access to USHE that are non-discriminatory and fully-inclusive by nature and practice.


Chapter 2 review of the literature

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature

“Findings suggest that low-income students do have access to computers but lack the knowledge and support needed to navigate the financial aid resources available online.” (Venegas, 2006)


Review of the literature

Review of the Literature

  • Justification of the Research Problem

    • Prior research would suggest that an increasing and broadening chasm in regards to access would be activated through socio-economic factors. (Reay, 2003)

    • “Findings suggest that low-income students do have access to computers but lack the knowledge and support needed to navigate the financial aid resources available online.” (Venegas, 2006)

    • “The recent emphasis on widening participation and access to higher education assumes a uniformly positive process, yet the reality, particularly for working-class students, is often confusing and fraught with difficulties.” (Reay, 2003)

    • “We found that access to American higher education is unduly limited by the complex interplay of inadequate preparation, lack of information about college opportunities, and persistent financial barriers.” (Spellings, p.1)


Review of the literature1

Review of the Literature

  • Support of Assumptions

    • As recognized by Elinor Madigan in the research article, The Influence of Family Income and Parents Education on Digital Access: Implications for First-Year College Students, “There is an ongoing digital divide in the United States. Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey of 57,000 households containing 134,000 persons, the U.S. Department of Commerce found that the proportion of U.S. households with computers reached 61.8 percent in 2003, and 87.6 percent of those households used their computers to access the Internet. 54.6 percent of U.S. households had Internet connections (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2004, p. 7).” (Madigan, 2005)

    • As Joanna Goode stated in her article Mind the Gap: The Digital Dimension of College Access, “Early digital divide discussions focused almost exclusively on the technical component of the equity gap, including computer hardware, software, and more recently, broadband Internet access. This access divide still has not been bridged, and in many ways, has widened. Although some high schools do provide technologically and academically rich learning experiences for their students, others do not. In fact, students in some schools have minimal opportunities to simply use computers and go online.” (Goode, 2010)


Review of the literature2

Review of the Literature

  • Support of Assumptions, cont.

    • “In the 1990s, the use of Internet technologies in college admission and financial aid was heralded as the wave of the future (Frazier, 2003; Gladieux & Swail 1999a, 1999b; Hartman 1998; Shelley, 1989). Colleges and universities exhibited an increasing reliance on the Internet for admission, financial aid, housing, and registration processes. Parents and students could ‘virtually visit’ colleges from the convenience of their own home. (Hartman, 1998) At the same time, advocates for low-income students and students of color warned of the potential for Internet resources to become “engines of inequality” if they were not made available to all students (Gladieux & Swail, 1999a). (Venegas, 2006)

    • The question herein drives towards whether this warning has played out in contemporary times.


Key sources directly impactin g the prospectus to date

Key Sources (directly impacting the Prospectus to date)

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2012)

  • College Board (2011)

  • Midwest Higher Education Compact (2012)

  • State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). (2005). Accountability for better results: A national imperative for higher education.

  • Goode, J. (2010). Mind the Gap: The Digital Dimension of College Access.

  • United States Department of Education. (2006). A test of leadership: Charting the future of U.S. higher education.

  • United States national Technology Plan (2010)


Overview of research

Overview of Research

  • Themes Inherent within research issue

    • Conceptual framework on talent loss

    • Social capital

    • College choice frameworks

    • Socioeconomic status

    • Low-income demographics

    • Aspiration attainment gap

    • College and career readiness

    • Technological access

    • Information transmission

    • College admissions process

    • Bridging


Overview of research cont

Overview of Research, cont.

  • Theoretical/conceptual frameworks

    • Recognizing that my research is still in the formative stage, I desire to ultimately focus on the theory that socio-economic diversity plays an increasingly large role in access to USHE. Similarly, emerging technology is actually increasing that gap, as USHE attempts to utilize technology for access that is not readily available or understood equitably. I believe that this is important because of the fact that USHE seems to be embracing the theory that emerging technology is actually increasing access for more potential students; this may be true, but could it be that the increase in access is not equitably represented across all socio-economic levels?


Overview of research cont1

Overview of Research, cont.

  • Overall approach to proposed methodology

    • Qualitative research based upon interpretive, ethnographic interview and analysis of select high school guidance counselors from specifically-identified low-income communities. This research should set a foundation for additional quantitative analysis in the future.

    • One of the articles that has really begun shaping my assumptions was the research article, The Influence of Family Income and Parents Education on Digital Access: Implications for First-Year College Students, by Elinor Madigan. Madigan’s research has focused on the fact that prior exposure to technology shaped the first year experience of new students, which could be extrapolated to an understanding of socio-economic privilege based upon availability of technology access. As stated by Madigan, “There is an ongoing digital divide in the United States. Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey of 57,000 households containing 134,000 persons, the U.S. Department of Commerce found that the proportion of U.S. households with computers reached 61.8 percent in 2003, and 87.6 percent of those households used their computers to access the Internet. 54.6 percent of U.S. households had Internet connections (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2004, p. 7).” (Madigan, 2005)

    • Similarly, in the article “Risky Business? Mature Working Class Women and Access to Higher Education,” author Diane Reay chronicled the issues of twelve low-income women and the process and challenges of these twelve individuals in gaining access to higher education. As stated, “The recent emphasis on widening participation and access to higher education assumes a uniformly positive process, yet the reality, particularly for working-class students, is often confusing and fraught with difficulties.” (Reay, 2003 – emphasis mine) This statement points to the fact that there are challenges in access based upon varying factors. I feel as though by defining the challenge (socio-economic issues driving technological access), I can utilize a frame like Reay’s to better define my assumptions.


Chapter 3 proposed methodology

Chapter 3: Proposed Methodology

“How will the current wave of information and communication technologies affect the future of higher education? Will technological advances allow universities to provide a higher quality education to more people? Or will advances result in a net decrease in educational quality and accentuate the divide between the haves and have-nots? (Altbach, 2005)


Major research perspective

Major Research Perspective

  • Qualitative Perspective

  • Justification:

    • Qualitative research will be based upon interpretive, ethnographic interview and analysis of five to seven select high school guidance counselors from specifically-identified low-income communities.

    • This research will provide a manageable scope and feasibility

    • Provides an informative foundation, potentially exposing injustice and inequality to a specific group

    • Offers a critical interpretive perspective

    • The objective of this research is to provide insight into the manner in which decreased technology access actually affects the college selection process and, ultimately, the long range success of these students


Type of design

Type of Design

  • Theoretical Paradigms grounding the study:

    • Critical Interpretive Perspective

  • Type:

    • Ethnographic research

  • Population & Site:

    • Five to seven high school guidance counselors from low-income school districts within Minnesota

  • Sampling Procedures

    • Purposeful, targeted, and manageable, based upon socio-economic data allowing school districts and particular high schools to be identified for inclusion

  • Data Collection

    • In-depth Interviews

    • Utilizing discovery-type and exploratory-style interview method

    • Qualitative Coding method will be utilized using field notes, data analysis, and interpretation notes, resulting in a grounded theory approach that will allow for extracting meaning from the data


References bibliography to date

References:Bibliography to-date

“Although access does not guarantee understanding, access must come first before literacy can be addressed. Further research is needed in order to better understand the role played by parents in preparing their children for the digital age.” (Madigan, 2005)


Bibliography

Bibliography

Altbach, P.G., Berdahl, R.O., & Gumport, P.J. (2005). American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Bettinger, E., Long, T., & Oreopolus, L. (2009). The Role of Simplification and Information in College Decisions: Results form the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment; NBER working paper 15361. Cambridge, MA: NBER.

Bowman, P.J. (2011). Need for a 21st Century Merit Agenda. In P.J. Bowman & E.P. St. John (Eds.), Diversity, Merit, and Higher Education: Towards a Comprehensive Agenda for the 21st Century (pp. 1-14). New York, NY: AMS Press.

Burkum, K., Robbins, S., & Phelps, R. (2011). Admissions, Academic Readiness, and Student Success: Implications for growing a diverse education pipeline. In P.J. Bowman & E.P. St. John (Eds.), Diversity, Merit, and Higher Education: Towards a Comprehensive Agenda for the 21st Century (pp. 207-232). New York, NY: AMS Press.

Carter, D.F. (2002). College Students’ Degree Aspirations: A Theoretical Model and Literature Review with a focus on African American and Latino Students. In J. Smart (Ed.) Higher Education: A Handbook of Theory and Research. Bronx, NY: Agathon Press.

Cedja ,M. (2006). Understanding the Role of Parents and Siblings as Information Sources in the College Choice Process of Chicana Students. Journal of College Student Development, 47 (1), 87-104.

College Board .(2011). Complexity in College Admission: The Barriers Between Aspiration and Enrollment for Low-Income Students. Washington D.C.: College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. Retrieved from http://advocacy.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/11b-4062_AdmissComplex_web.pdf

Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research.  (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall (Chapter 11, “Experimental designs”).


Bibliography1

Bibliography

Creswell, J.W. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2nd ed.). Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks.

Engberg, M.E., & Wolniak, G.C. (2009). Navigating Disparate Pathways to College: Examining the Conditional Effects of Race on Enrollment Decisions. TC Record, 111 (9), 2255-2279.

Eun-Ok, B., & Freehling, S. (2007). Using Internet Communication Technologies by Low-Incomes High School Students in Completing Educational Tasks Inside and Outside the School Setting. Computers in the Schools, 24(1/2), 33-55. doi:10.1300/J025v24n01̱04

Goode, J. (2010). Mind the Gap: The Digital Dimension of College Access. Journal of Higher Education, 81(5), 583-618. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Griffin, K.A., Yamamura, E., Kimura-Walsh, E.F., & Allen, W.R. (2007). Those who left, those who stayed: The educational opportunities of high-achieving Black and Latina/o students in magnet and non-magnet Los Angeles high schools. Educational Studies, 42(3), 229-247.

Holland, N. (2011). The power of peers: Influences on postsecondary education planning and experiences of African American students. Urban Education, 46, 1029-1055.

Kennamer, M. A., Katsinas, S. G., Hardy, D. E., & Roessler, B. (2010). Closing Doors of Opportunity? Trends in Enrollment, College Costs, and Direct Grant Aid at Community Colleges in the United States, 2000-2001 to 2005-2006. Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 34(1/2), 7-24. doi:10.1080/10668920903388115.

Kim, J., Kwon, Y., & Cho, D. (2011). Investigating factors that influence social presence and learning outcomes in distance higher education. Computers & Education, 57(2), 1512-1520. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.02.005


Bibliography cont

Bibliography, cont.

Madigan, E., and Goodfellow, M. (2005). The Influence of Family Income and Parents Education on Digital Access: Implications for First-Year College Students. Sociological Viewpoints, 2153-62. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

McDonough, P.M. (1997). Choosing Colleges: How Social Class and Schools Structure Opportunity. Albany, NY: State University of new York Press.

McPherson, M., and Schapiro, M.O. (2007). The Spelling Commission Report, One Year Later.Forum for the Future of Higher Education. 2008. Retrieved from http://benedictine.learntoday.info/section/default.asp ?id=HEOC%2D705%2DD4A1

Perna, L.W., & Titus, M. (2005). The Relationship Between Parental Involvement as Social Capital and College Enrollment: An examination of Racial/Ethnic Group Differences. The Journal of Higher Education, 76(5), 485-518.

Plank, S., & Jordan, W. (2001). Effects of Information, Guidance, and Actions on Postsecondary Destinations: A Study of Talent Loss. American Educational Research Journal, 38(4), 947-979.

Reay, D. (2003). A Risky Business? Mature Working-class Women Students and Access to Higher Education. Gender & Education, 15(3), 301-317. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Roderick, M., Nagaoka, J., & Coca, V. (2009). College Readiness for All: The Challenge for Urban High Schools. The Future of Children, 19(1), 185-210.

Roderick, M., Nagaoka, J., Coca, V., & Moeller, E. (2008).From High School to the Future: Potholes on the Road to College. Chicago, IL: Consortium on Chicago School Research. Retrieved from http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/downloads/1835ccsr_potholes_summary.pdf.

Sedlacek, W.E. (2010). Noncognitive Measures for Higher Education Admissions. In P.L. Peterson, E. Baker, & B. McGaw (Eds.). International Encyclopedia of Education (pp.845-849). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.


Bibliography cont1

Bibliography, cont.

Sedlacek, W.E. (2011). Using noncognitive variables in assessing readiness for higher education. In P.J. Bowman & E.P. St. John (Eds.), Diversity, Merit, and Higher Education: Towards a Comprehensive Agenda for the 21st Century (pp. 187-206). New York, NY: AMS Press.

Smith, M.J. (2009). Right directions, wrong maps: Understanding the involvement of low-SES parents to enlist them as partners in college choice. Education and Urban Education, 41, 171-196.

Stanton-Salazar, R. (2010). A social capital framework for the study of institutional agents and their role in the empowerment of low-status students and youth. Youth and Society, 43, 1066.

State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). (2005). Accountability for better results: A national imperative for higher education. Report of the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education. Retrieved from http://benedictine.learntoday.info/section/default.asp?id= HEOC%2D705%2DD4A1

United States Department of Commerce. (2000, October). Falling through the net: Toward digital inclusion. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce.

United States Department of Commerce. (2004, September). A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce.

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United States Department of Education. (2006). A test of leadership: Charting the future of U.S. higher education. Retrieved from http://benedictine.learntoday.info/section/default.asp?id= HEOC%2D705%2DD4A1

Venegas, K.M. (2006).Internet Inequalities: Financial Aid, the Internet, and Low-Income Students. American Behavioral Scientist, 49 (12), pp. 1652-1669.


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