African-American Students' College Transition Trajectory: An Examination of the Effect of High School Composition and Expectations on Degree Attainment
University of the Pacific
What is the relationship between highschool composition and students' degree expectations and their effect on degree attainment for African-Americans?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
- Mother's expectations are immensely powerful and explain the Asian and Hispanic effect and a good portion of the Black effect on student's degree expectation.
- Race, ethnicity, gender, SES and high school composition significantly interact with test scores. Being Asian has a positive effect on the NELS mathematics test but not on the NELS reading tests. However, being Black, Hispanic, and American Indian all negatively effect student test scores.
- Being male had a positive effect on the math test but a negative effect on the reading test.
- Being male reduces the odds of one attaining a bachelor's degree or higher.
- There was no effect on degree attainment, as far as being a minority in a high percentage minority school, yet there was an effect of the percent receiving free or reduced lunch.
- There was a race+percent race interaction effect on attending a two-year college. Being Hispanic in a high percentage Asian school had a negative effect on two-year college attendance, while being Black at both a high percentage Hispanic and a high percentage Black school also decreased students odds of attending a community college.
- No positive effect between race and degree expectations on degree attainment was found.
- This study supported the findings of the both the NCES (2001) and Rosenbaum(2001) that being Black, net of several factors, does have a positive effect and statistically influences degree attainment. Though being Black is ultimately explained by students' degree expectations, it is important to note that there is a system in place that is working to some degree.
- School SES has a positive effect and school minority composition has a negative effect on grades only in the case of foreign-born Latinos.
- Race, gender, and SES matter in terms of both analysis of achievement and attainment, when only SES mattered in prior studies.
- The paradox of Black expectations and attainment disappears when Black abstract expectations are compared to their academic achievement absent of other contextual variables.
Academic Achievement, College, English, Expectations, High School, Human Capital, Math, Reading, SES, Science
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Structural Equation Modeling
Unit of Analysis:
- College expectations not aspirations!
- National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88/2000).
- Academic performance is measured as an academic resource index which is a composite of high school curriculum intensity, class rank/GPA and senior year test scores.
- Measure of expectations= how far in school R thinks she/he will get asked only at twelfth grade or senior year.
- Two-stage sampling method was applied for the first follow-up of the NELS which took place in 1990 and was the most salient wave of data collection for the purpose of this study.
- DV: Degree attainment of students (test scores).
- IV: Race, gender, SES (parent's educational attainment, mother and father's occupational prestige, family income and household resources), school composition (race/ethnicity and free or reduced lunch), student's grade in previous test score,
- Use the college transition trajectory or CCT model (similar to a path analysis).