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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 Student Department of Educational Leadership, Higher Education, & International Education University of Maryland.

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Starting Early, Staying on Track: A Chronological Review of Critical Steps Along the Path to College


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starting early staying on track a chronological review of critical steps along the path to college
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

path to college is a longitudinal process
Path To College is a Longitudinal Process

Predisposition & choices

Collegiate Experiences & Behaviors

Outcomes

Family

Encouragement

& Involvement

Academic

Integration

Competencies

Graduate

School

Employment

& Income

Preparation

for College

Social

Integration

Satisfaction &

Commitment

K-16

Communication

& Engagement

Job

Performance

Facilities &

Services

Persistence

Transfer

Stop-out

Aspirations

& Plans

Job

Satisfaction

Climate &

Diversity

Degree

Completion

Awareness of

College Characteristics,

Admission Standards,

& Costs

Loan

Repayment

Financial Aid Mix

slide3

College Choice Process for 1000 Lowest SES Students

College

Qualifications

High

School

Graduation

4-year College

Applications

Institution Type of First Enrollment

70 Applied to 4-year Institution

477 Graduated

714 Not Qualified

237 Did Not Graduate

407 Did Not Apply

46 Applied to 4-year Institution

132 Graduated

1000

8th

Graders

in 1988

134 Minimally

Qualified

86 Did Not Apply

2 Did Not Graduate

99 Applied to 4-year Institution

151 Graduated

151 Qualified

52 Did Not Apply

0 Did Not Graduate

Cabrera& La Nasa (2000). Understanding the college choice process. Jossey Bass

a case for starting early
A Case for Starting Early
  • Preparation for college begins as early as the 7th 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 8th 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)
why focus on low income students
Why Focus on Low-Income Students?
  • Poorest 8th 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 8th graders have parents unfamiliar with college (Cabrera & LaNasa, 2001; Cabrera et al., 2005)
  • Only 15% of low-income 8th 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)
why focus on latino a students
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 8th graders are college-qualified by the 12th grade (Swail et al., 2004, 2005)
    • Compared to 47.4% of White 8th 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
critical steps along the path to college
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

in conclusion
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
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

Intervention strategies need to be Holistic,Sustained over time and involve Multiple Partners
references
References

Adelman, C. (1999). Answers in the tool box: Academic intensity, attendance patterns, and bachelor’s degree attainment. Document # PLLI 1999-8021. 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. 122-136). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.

Hagedorn, L.S., Cabrera, A.F., & Prather, G. (2010-11) The Community College Transfer Calculator: Identifying the Course-Taking Patterns that Predict Transfer. Journal of College Student Retention, 12(1), 105-130.

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.

references18
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), 119-150.

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. 155-209). 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.

references19
References

19

McDonald, Botti & Clark (2007). From visibility to autonomy: Latinos in Higher Education in the US, 1965-2005. University of Maryland, College Park

Volkwein, J. F.(2010). Overcoming obstacles to campus assessment (pp. 47-63). In J. F. Volkwein (Editor). Spring Supplement. New Directions for Institutional Research. Volume 2010. 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. http://educationalpolicy.org/pdf/LatinoI.pdf

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. http://educationalpolicy.org/pdf/LatinoII.pdf

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. http://educationalpolicy.org/pdf/LatinoIII.pdf