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Broad Project Description

PATHWAYS to Postsecondary Success seeks to understand what knowledge and tools are needed to maximize postsecondary opportunities for low-income youth. To bring a range of different lenses to the problems under study, the project was purposefully designed to be multi-method and multi-disciplinary. We assembled a research team that brought together individuals from different academic areas, such as education, sociology and psychology, with expertise in both quantitative studies of large national survey data and in-depth qualitative studies of youth experiences in schools and communities.

Each of the studies is designed to address these key research questions:

  • What are the educational trajectories of low-income youth as they make their way to and through college?
  • In what ways does a postsecondary credential make a difference for low-income youth?
  • How do class, race, gender, immigration, and parental status impact educational and employment opportunities?  
  • What interactions occur between institutions and youth that support or hinder postsecondary access, persistence, and completion?
  • How do youth make meaning of information, resources, and experiences that aim to promote student success?
  • What critical conditions and institutional resources are necessary to promote student success?
  • What statistical indicators are needed to monitor postsecondary success for low-income youth?



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