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Transitional Barriers for First Gen Students of Color

2015 Educator Symposium. Northern California Career Pathways Alliance, Petaluma

Dr. Laurie Scolari

on 6 April 2016

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Transcript of Transitional Barriers for First Gen Students of Color

Transitional Barriers
First Generation Students of Color

Why We Must Disrupt the System Now
Dr. Laurie Scolari

Enrollment Barriers:
Counselor Collaboration
First Gen Students Need Tools to Navigate the Transitional Process
First Generation Students of Color
Problematic Transition
Family members & peers lack the social capital to assist in the transition to college
(Scolari, 2012)
Home-Based Social Capital
School-Based Social Capital
A network of teachers, counselors, administrators, school site staff who have knowledge of, or access to the college application process (Stanton-Salazar, 1997)

Nationally - % of students who enrolled in college within 2 years:
of first-gen students enroll in college
of students whose parents had some college enroll
of students whose parents graduated from college enroll (US Dept of Ed. 2011)

High-income students are increasingly becoming a majority of our nation’s colleges

Due to their ability to score higher on college placement exams, and therefore, be more competitive (Carnevale & Strohl, 2010)

Pushes out middle & low-income students

First-gen students are more likely to delay entry into post-secondary education (Chen, 2005)
Older adults are less likely to complete college (Public Policy Institute of California, 2009)
The fastest growing minority groups, African-Americans & Latinos, continue to have low participation rates in institutions PSE. Nationally:
of African-Americans
of Latinos have earned an associate’s degree or higher (Douglass, 2006)
by 2023, students of Color the Majority (Broughton, 2008)
A High School Diploma is no longer enough - majority of jobs now require a college degree (Symonds, et al., 2011).
College graduates contributed more taxes, are less likely to access welfare, and lead to less outsourcing of jobs (Levin, 2007)
Social Psychological
Test Taking Barriers:
Improved Placement
Enrollment Barriers: Counselor Collaboration
Social Barriers

Study of nearly 10,000 high school students

African-American and Latino students reported being the most strongly influenced by counseling services in their post-secondary plans

(Lee & Ekstrom, 2011)
Counselor Support is Critical For Students of Color

Low-income students of color received
less counseling services
, compared to their white and high-income counterparts

(Lee & Ekstrom, 2011)
Access to High School Counselors
Not Equally Distributed
Federal TRIO Programs - Higher Education Act of 1965, target underrepresented students.

The GEAR UP initiative - authorized by Title IV of the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 and was signed into public law 1998 by President Clinton.
After-School Program Providers
Study 23 urban high schools - less than half (42%) could access them (Noeth & Wimberly, 2004).

Dissertation SFUSD: African American students reported receiving the least support from after school program providers compared to other ethnic groups - statistically significant at p=0.018.
After-School Program Providers -
Not Far Reaching Enough

National ratio: 1000 students for every community college counselor (Pathways to Prosperity, 2011)

Until recently, no policy mandating educational planning support for recent HS graduates.

Limited incentive to go into high schools

National ratio: 3000 students for every high school counselor (Ceja, 2000)

College planning not always built into public high schools strategic plan. HS are not held responsible for college-going rates (McDonough, 2004)

HS Counselors Overwhelmed
Limited Policy
Student feedback across five CA community colleges:

Majority of students expressed frustration over lack of information they had received about community colleges in their transition from high school.

Students did not notice a community college presence at their schools - only received information about four-year colleges.

Venezia (2010)

Community College Information
Rarely Distributed in High Schools
Study: San Francisco Unified

Students heard about 4 year app process 70% of the time

Students heard about CC app process 25% of the time

Overall, 94% of all first-gen students of color said they did not receive any hands on help from home or school (Scolari, 2012)

Community College Information
Rarely Promoted
Test-Taking Barriers:
Improved Placement
Access to College Level Courses is Denied to
Many Community College Students
This term was first used by Steele and Aronson (1995) who showed in several experiments:
Black college freshmen and sophomores performed more poorly on standardized tests than White students when their race was emphasized.
When race was not emphasized, however, Black students performed better and equivalently with White students.
Study showed that performance in academic contexts can be harmed by the awareness that one's behavior might be viewed through the lens of racial stereotypes.
Widens the achievement gap
Teachers are often unaware of the impact of stereotype threat on student academic performance.
Stereotype Threat
Self Affirmation Study: Cohen (2014)
Three double-blind randomized field experiments examined the effects of negative feedback on middle and high school students.
On student essays, teachers wrote a note:
Intervention group:
"I'm giving you these comments because I have high standards and I know you can meet them."
Control group:

"I'm giving you these comments so you have feedback on your essay."
Results: Percentage of students revising their essay:

African American students, control:
African American students, intervention:

White students, both conditions:
How Can We Be System Disrupters?
Build Social Capital
Cross System Counselor Collaboration
Analysis of access data
Cross system PD
Promote CC equal to 4 year
Bring CC app into HS during school day

Improve Academic Placement
Analyze historical data
Cross system workgroups
Pilot & evaluate data

Thoughtful Testing & Teaching methods
Impact of stereotype threat on student performance

Community College Counselors:
4 Year Colleges
Increasingly Competitive & Impacted
First-Gen Students of Color Less Likely To Enroll in ANY College
Immediate Transition
is Critical
Our Nation Depends On It

Community Cultural Capital (Yosso, 2004):
Aspirational Capital
Linguistic Capital
Resistance Capital
First-Gen Students of Color
Have Social Capital
But Not the Right Kind..
To Navigate the
Transition Process
Social Capital: an accumulation of cultural knowledge, skills, and abilities possessed and inherited by privileged groups in society (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977)
Two thirds
of all CC students in CA and nationally enroll in one or more remedial courses (BPS 2003-2004 cohort; CCCO 2009)

assigned to remedial math complete the remedial sequence

assigned to remedial English complete the remedial sequence (Bailey, Jeong & Cho 2008)

Enrolling in remedial courses
affects student’s chances of earning a credential. (Dadgar 2012; Scott-Clayton & Rodriguez 2012)

Studies show a better predictor of student success is high school GPA

HS GPA: North Carolina, Massachusetts, Hawaii (2.7 GPA)

Smarter Balanced Test: Washington State

HS GPA & Math/English courses and grades: CCSF & Long Beach City College

Chancellors Office task force - statewide common assessment and approved multiple measures

Title V: Already allows for using multiple measures

Affecting thousands of students' lives
What Are We Waiting For?
Assignment to Remedial Courses: An Equity Issue
90% of colleges use a standardized test (ACCUPLACER or COMPASS)

Math: 1 in 4 students are severely misplaced

English: 1 in 3 are severely misplaced

Being placed too low is 5-6 times more common than being placed too high

Yet the majority of students placed into remediation would have earned a C or higher in a college level course (many a B or higher)
The Problem With The Placement Exam
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