Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor's Name
Dr. Mido Chang
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Dr. Norma Goonen
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Dr. Andy Pham
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Fourth Advisor's Name
Dr. Charmaine DeFrancesco
Fourth Advisor's Committee Title
success, program evaluation
Date of Defense
ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION
PROVIDING HOPE FOR ANOTHER GENERATION:
THE EFFECT OF FEDERAL PRE-COLLEGE OUTREACH PROGRAMS ON DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS’ EDUCATIONAL ASPIRATION, COLLEGE PREPAREDNESS, AND COLLEGE ACCESS
Florida International University, 2020
Professor Mido Chang, Major Professor
The United States has long been recognized as the land of opportunity. However, one of the major problems that plague the nation is the disparity in educational opportunities (Pfeffer & Hertel, 2015). It is crucial that all students—regardless of their race/ethnicity, family socioeconomic status, and geographic location—have an equal opportunity to higher education (Baker, Klasik, & Reardon, 2018). Unfortunately, students from disadvantaged backgrounds (i.e., first-generation college students, those from low-income households, and those from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups) have lower rates of college enrollment, retention, and completion compared to their counterparts (Baker et al., 2018). This gap in enrollment and success is indicative of inequitable distribution of educational opportunities.
Precollege outreach programs were created to address the educational opportunity gap. Talent Search, Upward Bound, and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) programs were created to serve students of disadvantaged backgrounds. However, more than 50 years since the inception of such program, the effect of the programs on educational attainment remain largely theoretical and program results are mixed (Thomas et al., 1998). To add to the body of knowledge about the effects of these programs, this dissertation evaluated the effects of precollege outreach programs on the student success measures of educational aspiration, college preparedness, and college access.
Using data from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 of the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), these three educational outcomes of program participants were compared to those of non-program participants. In evaluating the causal effect of the above precollege outreach programs on student educational outcomes, Propensity Score Matching (PSM) was used to treat preexisting imbalances in baseline characteristics (Lingle, 2009) that could impact the outcomes.
Participation in these pre-college programs had a significant statistical impact on college access. After matching, program participation caused a .5% increase in college enrollment. There was no direct impact on educational aspiration and college preparedness. The results of this study are relevant for the current discourse on the effectiveness of pre-college programs and aid the efforts of practitioners, researchers, and policymakers looking to close the educational opportunity gap in their sphere of influence.
Deus, Newsoul, "Providing Hope For Another Generation: The Effect Of Federal Pre-College Outreach Programs On Disadvantaged Students’ Educational Aspiration, College Preparedness, and College Access" (2020). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4599.
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