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ERIC Number: EJ1161396
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0042-0972
Getting from Here to There: The Role of Geography in Community College Students' Transfer Decisions
Jabbar, Huriya; Sánchez, Joanna; Epstein, Eliza
Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education, v49 n5 p746-776 Dec 2017
Community colleges have received renewed attention from policymakers seeking to increase college attendance and completion rates because they provide open access to postsecondary education for historically marginalized students. Yet, transfer rates from community colleges to 4-year institutions are low. Inequities in opportunity that are shaped by geography and compounded throughout childhood may restrict higher education opportunities for low-income, first-generation college students. Most studies examining how geography constrains college choice focus on high school students' initial decisions about higher education, not community college students. We analyze the spatial distribution of community college students' "choice sets," the 4-year institutions that they are considering transferring to. Using qualitative interviews and geospatial analysis, we examine how these spatial patterns compare between two community-college systems in Central Texas. We find that students' choice sets are geographically constrained, but that for many students, these zones are geographically large, suggesting that interventions and targeted outreach from universities could help students identify and select from greater range of options. Our findings have important implications for college access and completion among first-generation college students, and for policies that seek to interrupt patterns of inequity tied to location.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A