How Does Institutional Context Matter? Shaping Success for Disadvantaged College Students

What are the organizational features of colleges and universities that promote success for low-income, Black, and Latino students?

Low-income students and underrepresented minorities graduate from college at much lower rates than their higher income, white peers. This project comprises three studies that aim to identify institutional conditions (i.e., university practices, policies, and programs) that help to mediate the negative impact of resource disparities for disadvantaged students, using quantitative, in-depth interview, and ethnographic methods. Study 1 involves data collection of institutional characteristics that are currently not available in existing national postsecondary datasets. Study 2 involves in-depth interviews with 46 women who are part of an ongoing longitudinal study of a cohort of women who attended a large flagship university in the Midwest, starting in 2004. Study 3 is an ethnography, situated at the University of California, Merced and Columbia University, with interviews conducted with Black and Latino students, as well as a wide range of administrators and staff.

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