Rural High School Aspirations study. Invited presentation, REL

Report
Rural High School
Aspirations Study
Judith L. Meece
NRCRES
University of North Carolina-CH
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences
Research and Development Center Grant R305A040056-06
National Research Center on Rural
Education Support
• Established in 2004 with funding from the
Institute of Education Sciences of U.S.
Department of Education;
• Based at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill;
• Mission to provide professional development
and research development activities to
address significant issues facing rural
schools, educators, and communities.
Projects of NRCRES
•
•
•
•
•
Targeted Reading Intervention
Rural Early Adolescent Learning Program
Enhanced Rural Online Learning
Rural High School Aspirations Study
Supplemental Studies
– Special Education Surveys
– Rural Teacher Retention and Recruitment
– Annual Yearly Progress of Rural Schools
Rationale for RHSA Study
• Approximately 19% of America’s youth
attend public schools in rural communities;
• Significant changes have occurred in rural
communities over the last three decades and
continue;
• With advances in technology and internet
services to rural communities, rural youth
have greater access to information about
careers, lifestyles, and educational
opportunities than ever before.
Rationale for RHSA Study
• Most rural youth now face restricted
adult employment opportunities in their
home communities;
• Over the last 30 years there has been a
steady migration of rural youth to
urban areas;
• Lack of job opportunities is a major
driving force behind the outmigration
of rural youth.
Limited Research on Rural Youth
• Very limited research on rural youth as they
prepare for the transition to postsecondary
education or careers.
• National reports indicate that rural youth
today are less likely than urban and
suburban youth to attend and complete
college.
• Rural youth face a number of unique
challenges when planning for the future, not
address in research.
Other Important Challenges
for Rural Youth
• Rural schools have difficulty recruiting and
retaining teachers who are qualified to teach
advanced coursework;
• Rural youth have a higher likelihood than
urban youth to experience a narrow school
curriculum.
Percent of Public Schools Offering Advanced
Courses by Locale
Source: Status of Education in Rural America (2007)
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
City
Suburban
Town
Rural
Dual
Credit
AP
Courses
Other Important Challenges
• Rural youth have limited access to counseling and
career/college preparation activities.
• By definition, rural communities are removed from
metropolitan areas; geographical isolation is an
added challenge for rural youth seeking access to
postsecondary education.
• Rural youth in remote areas must leave their home
communities to seek educational or vocational
opportunities elsewhere.
Unique Assets of Rural Schools
Unique Assets of Rural High Schools:
– Close community-school relations;
– Curricular tracking less prevalent
– Close Supportive student-teacher relations;
– Small size
• Greater participation in extracurricular
activities;
• Greater sense of belonging;
• Stable peer relations;
• Higher satisfaction with school;
• Lower drug and alcohol use.
Purpose of RHSA Study
To generate new information about rural high school
students’ educational, vocational, and residential plans
and aspirations for the future.
To assess rural high school students’ preparatory
activities and planning for postsecondary education,
work, and adult life.
To examine the impact of school experiences,
geographical location, economic status, cultural or
ethnic origins, family background, peer relations, and
community characteristics on rural students’
aspirations and preparatory activities.
Rural HSA Sample Selection
•Sampling frame was 101,104 public schools in
the 2004-05 Common Core of Data;
•Schools with one or more students in 9th grade
or above were included;
•Schools were classified according to
subtypes based on locale designations;
and eligibility for Rural Education Achievement
Programs (RLIS & SRSA);
•Sample currently includes 73 randomly selected
schools across these school types.
Rural HSA Sample
School
Type
Number of
Schools
School
Size
Poverty
Status
Minority
Percent
Rural Remote
43
32 - 418
0 - 99%
0 - 95%
Rural Distant
19
81 - 661
18 - 82%
1 - 99%
Rural Fringe
3
123 - 400
31 - 81%
3 - 85%
Small Town
8
165 - 1883
16 - 51%
1 - 56%
Rural High School Aspiration Sites
by Type of School
Locale 6, 7, 8
RLIS
Rural Remote
SRSA
Data Collection
• Student Surveys
– Over 8000 students from rural remote,
rural distant, rural fringe, and small town
urban- centric locations
• Teacher Surveys
– 625 high school teachers
• Administrators’ Surveys (phone interviews)
– 69 school administrators
• Parent Surveys (phone interviews)
– 800 parent interviews
Educational Aspirations of Rural Youth
Totals vs. Rural Remote
80.0
70.0
60.0
Percent
50.0
40.0
Total
Rural Remote
30.0
20.0
10.0
0.0
Don't know
High school
or GED only
2 year
program or
degree
Graduate
from 4 year
college
Advanced
degree
Required Educational Levels of Reported Career Choices :
Total Sample vs. Rural Remote
80
70
60
Percent
50
40
Total
Rural Remote
30
20
10
0
Less than High
School
High School or
some College
College Degree
Advanced Degree
High School Programs by Grade Level
80%
70%
60%
Percent
50%
Grade 9
40%
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12
30%
20%
10%
0%
General High School
Program
College prep, academic,
or specialized academic
Vocations, technical, or
business and career
I don't know
Postsecondary Education Exploration
80
Never
Once or twice
3 to 5 times
40
30
20
10
0
Percent
50
60
70
4 More than 5 times
Talked with a guidance
counselor or other advisor
about college
Visited a college campus?
Searched for college
courses or programs
available by the internet
Talked with your parents
about how to pay for
college
Frequency of Career Exploration Activities
Never
80
Once or twice
3 to 5 times
4 More than 5 times
70
60
Percent
50
40
30
20
10
0
Internship
Job Mentoring
Job Shadowing
School Based
Enterprise
Cooperative
Education
Conclusions: Postsecondary Plans
• Only a small percent (10%) of RHSA youth expected
to discontinue their education right after high school
(work-bound).
• Another 34% planned to work and continue their
education either concurrently or at a later time
(work-to-college).
• Over 70% of the RHSA students planned to complete
college or an advanced degree.
• A majority of the students also aspired to adult jobs
and careers that require college and postgraduate
degrees.
Conclusions:
College- and Career-Readiness
• Approximately 16% of the RHSA youth indicated
they were enrolled in a college preparatory program.
• Only 20% of the college-bound students reported
that they were enrolled in advanced science and
mathematics courses.
• Participation in traditional postsecondary transition
activities was very limited for the RHSA sample as a
whole.
• Rural students with disabilities were less likely than
nondisabled to receive services to prepare for the
postsecondary transitions for education or
workforce participation.
Do Rural Youth Achieve
their College Aspirations?
70
60
50
Grade 12
Aspirations
(1992)
College
Completion
(2002)
40
30
20
10
0
Urban
Rural
Source: National Educational Longitudinal Study 1988-2000
Analyses of Other National
Data Sets
• Steady increase of rural youth
attending and completing four-year
colleges.
• College attendance rates tend to be
lower for rural than metropolitan youth.
• Rural youth are more likely than
metropolitan youth to attend public
colleges and universities.
Characteristics of Rural Youth
Obtaining College Degrees
• Lower family income than suburban
and urban youth;
• Higher percent of White than African
American, Latino, or Native American
rural youth attend and complete
college.
• Most likely to be first-generation
college students.
Predictors of College Completion
• Parental educational expectations;
• First year GPA strong predictor of
college completion;
• Completion of rigorous high school
courses;
• Involvement in intramural athletics,
student government, social clubs, etc.
Implications
• Educational aspirations and college
attendance rates of rural youth are
increasing;
• Rural youth who attend college face
numerous challenges that need to be
addressed by secondary and tertiary
institutions.
Implications
• Results of the RHSA study indicates that
rural youth have limited access to
information about postsecondary options.
• Numerous reports and studies indicate that
rural youth are preparing to leave their rural
towns and communities.
• Regardless of what takes place in rural high
schools, these patterns are likely to continue
without greater focus on rural economic
development at state and federal levels.
Collaborators
Thomas W. Farmer, Co-Principal Investigator
Soo-yong Byun, Postdoctoral Scholar
Matthew J. Irvin, Investigator
Bryan Hutchins, Social Research Associate
Kai Schafft, Investigator
Robert Petrin, Investigator
Kimberly Dadisman, Investigator
Dylan Robertson, Investigator
Glen Elder, Investigator
Vonnie McLoyd, Investigator

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