G         IN E        R V     TU    PE USI  ATH LC     E              Collecting               Post-Graduation         Dat...
THE PROBLEM
Although U.S. collegeenrollment rates are rising,gaps in college enrollment byfamily income are particularlypronounced and...
college enrollment and successrates of economically andeducationally challenged youthoccur within a complex ecology ofover...
low-income students without afamily history of higher educationfrequently have life experiencesthat make them difficult to ...
In-depth, longitudinal informationabout the characteristics andeducational experiences of thesestudents is necessary both ...
Research on drop-outs from longitudinalstudies shows that attrition is not random.Participants in a longitudinal study are...
THE QUESTION
Are there more effective   methods for collecting representative longitudinaldata regarding the post-highschool and higher...
THE CONTEXT
Longitudinal study following the graduating classes of         2006-20113 Data Collection Points:• Transition Student Surv...
Transition Survey                          Declining    95%                   response                              rates ...
OUR SOLUTION
CONNECTORS
Our example...15 schools from 2008 and 2009 classes21 Connectors identified (usually advisors)~30 minute phone interviews• ...
Our example...Semi-structured interview questions:- Is the student following their post graduation plan?- Is the student w...
Connectors were able to provide information on 96%n=544                  of students
Transition                             Connector95%                                    95%             First Fall         ...
G         IN E        R V     TU    PE USI  ATH LC     E     Karen D. Arnold - karen.arnold@bc.edu     Katherine Lynk Wart...
Capturing the Elusive:  Accounting for Study Attrition and Complex Trajectories in a Longitudinal Study of Low-Income High...
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Capturing the Elusive: Accounting for Study Attrition and Complex Trajectories in a Longitudinal Study of Low-Income High School Graduates

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Arnold, K. D., Brown, P. G., Gismondi, A. N., Pesce, J. R., and Stanfield, D. A. (2012, November). Capturing the elusive: Accounting for study attrition and complex trajectories in a longitudinal study of low-income high school graduates. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Las Vegas, NV.

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Capturing the Elusive: Accounting for Study Attrition and Complex Trajectories in a Longitudinal Study of Low-Income High School Graduates

  1. G IN E R V TU PE USI ATH LC E Collecting Post-Graduation Data from Low-Income High School Students Karen D. Arnold, Katherine Lynk Wartman, Paul G. Brown, Adam N. Gismondi, Jessica R. Pesce, and David A. Stanfield
  2. THE PROBLEM
  3. Although U.S. collegeenrollment rates are rising,gaps in college enrollment byfamily income are particularlypronounced and remainstubbornly resistant to change (Bailey & Dynarski, 2011)
  4. college enrollment and successrates of economically andeducationally challenged youthoccur within a complex ecology ofoverlapping educational and out-of-school environments (Perna, 2006; 2007; Thomas & Perna, 2005; Tierney & Venegas, 2007; 2009; Walpole, 2007)
  5. low-income students without afamily history of higher educationfrequently have life experiencesthat make them difficult to contactand unresponsive to requests tocomplete surveys or participate ininterviews (Weitzman, Guttmacher, Weinberg, & Kapadia, 2003)
  6. In-depth, longitudinal informationabout the characteristics andeducational experiences of thesestudents is necessary both forevaluation of innovativeeducational models and for basicresearch about the conditions thatperpetuate the socioeconomicachievement gap.
  7. Research on drop-outs from longitudinalstudies shows that attrition is not random.Participants in a longitudinal study are morelikely to drop out if they are geographicallymobile, mistrustful of institutional authority,or experiencing difficulties in their lives. (Arzi, 1989; Cotter, Burke, Loeber, & Navratil, 2002; Fitzgerald, Gottschalk, & Moffitt, 1998) (Van Beijsterveldt et al., 2002; Young, Powers, & Bell, 2006; Weitzman et al., 2003).!
  8. THE QUESTION
  9. Are there more effective methods for collecting representative longitudinaldata regarding the post-highschool and higher education experiences of low income students?
  10. THE CONTEXT
  11. Longitudinal study following the graduating classes of 2006-20113 Data Collection Points:• Transition Student Survey• Advisor Survey• First Fall Update Survey
  12. Transition Survey Declining 95% response rates But who is responding? First Fall Survey 33% All Alumni Survey 4%
  13. OUR SOLUTION
  14. CONNECTORS
  15. Our example...15 schools from 2008 and 2009 classes21 Connectors identified (usually advisors)~30 minute phone interviews• Sensitive to connector’s time• Went through list of students 1-by-1• Many connectors relied on memory, notes, and Facebook
  16. Our example...Semi-structured interview questions:- Is the student following their post graduation plan?- Is the student working? in college full time? part time?- Is the student experiencing any difficulty?Recorded and coded data:Examples: work status, education status, type of institution, college performance,why struggling, future plans, parental status, community involvement, studenthappiness, judgments of both researcher and connectorAnalyzed using statistical software andidentified exceptional stories
  17. Connectors were able to provide information on 96%n=544 of students
  18. Transition Connector95% 95% First Fall 33% All Alumni 4%
  19. G IN E R V TU PE USI ATH LC E Karen D. Arnold - karen.arnold@bc.edu Katherine Lynk Wartman - lynkwartman@gmail.com Paul G. Brown - paulgordonbrown@gmail.com Adam N. Gismondi - adamgismondi@gmail.com Jessica R. Pesce - jessica.pesce@gmail.com David A. Stanfield - davestanfield@gmail.com

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