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1

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student

Persistence at the University of Puerto Rico

by Sandra Dika, Ph.D.

Proyecto Carvajal para

la Democratización del

Conocimiento

STUDENT PERSISTENCE

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(JPEG Image, 388x175 pixels) https://mail.google.com/a/upr.edu/?ui=2&ik=8adf28e2f1&view=...

1 of 1 7/18/09 8:35 AM

About the !"#$%&'#()*"+*,*-(.*"*(-*(/%0#&"*12*&345(6%-()#5#&303%5'#

1he CenLer for unlverslLy Access (CuA) ls based aL Lhe Mayaguez campus of Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco, and sLarLed operaung

ln 2007. lLs goal ls Lo carry ouL academlc research and ouLreach acuvlues LhaL address Lhe connecuon beLween socloeconomlc

lnequallLy and educauonal lnequallLy, and Lo make a conLrlbuuon Lo Lhe lmporLanL work of lncreaslng Lhe proporuon of low

lncome sLudenLs LhaL apply, geL admlued and graduaLe from publlc hlgher educauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco. lLs maln pro[ecL ls Lhe

Carva[al Þro[ecL for Lhe uemocrauzauon of knowledge (2008-2013), LhaL wlLh Lhe supporL of Lhe Carva[al loundauon, Lhe

unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco, and developlng slnergles wlLh oLher donors, carrles ouL academlc research wlLh dlverse

meLhodologles and also develops ouLreach acuvlues wlLh Mayaguez sLudenLs, grades 7-12, LhaL llve ln publlc houslng pro[ecLs.

1he followlng researchers are amllaLed wlLh Lhe CenLer for unlverslLy Access:

k|ma 8rus| G|| de Lamadr|d, Þh.D. AnLhropology: LLhnography and CuallLauve MeLhods

Wa|ter D|az, Þh.D. Þollucal Sclence: CuanuLauve MeLhods, ClS

Sandra D|ka, Þh.D. Lducauonal 8esearch: CuanuLauve and CuallLauve MeLhods

Dav|d Gonzá|ez, Þh.D. lndusLrlal Lnglneerlng: lnsuLuuonal SLausucs

About the Carva[a| Work|ng Þaper Ser|es

1he Carva[al Worklng Þapers are Lhe producL of academlc research carrled ouL as parL of Lhe Carva[al Þro[ecL. 1he papers des-

crlbe Lhe ñndlngs of our research Leam, and alm Lo dlssemlnaLe academlc knowledge LhaL may be relevanL Lo Lhe developmenL

of lnsuLuuonal and publlc pollcles dlrecLed aL lncreaslng access and success among low lncome populauons. Lach paper ls based

on orlglnal research and/or revlews of exlsung llLeraLure, and all lnclude recommendauons for pollcy and lnLervenuon.

About the 3rd Work|ng Þaper

ln Lhls worklng paper, Lhe auLhor shares Lhe resulLs of a sLudy uslng lnsuLuuonal daLa from Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco Lo

examlne Lhe eñecLs of socloeconomlc facLors on sLudenL perslsLence ln college. 1he sLudy was funded by Lhe ÞuerLo 8lco Plgher

Lducauon Councll (CLSÞ8). llndlngs lndlcaLed LhaL for sLudenLs enLerlng beLween Lhe years 2000 Lo 2007, hlgh lncome/

conunulng generauon sLudenLs were slgnlñcanLly more llkely Lo perslsL Lhan low lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs. uslng

anoLher daLabase, for sLudenLs enLerlng beLween 2003 and 2009, ñndlngs lndlcaLed LhaL hlgh school CÞA was a posluve

lnßuence on perslsLence, whlle sLudenLs auendlng a publlc hlgh school were less llkely Lo perslsL. lor young women, havlng

marrled parenLs was a posluve lnßuence on perslsLence. ConLrary Lo expecLauons, parenLal lncome alone was noL a predlcLor of

reLenuon ln college.

About the photos

1he phoLos presenLed ln Lhls worklng aoer were Laken aL ouLreach acuvlues carrled ouL Lhrough Lhe !"#$%&'#()*"+*,*-( .*"*(-*(

/%0#&"*12*&345(6%-()#5#&303%5'#.

Tabl e of Contents

Lxecunve Summary 1

Þro[ect Summary 1

8ackground 1

Þrocess 1

I|nd|ngs and Conc|us|ons 2

Þo||cy Imp||canons and kecommendanons 2

Introducnon and Þurpose S

Context of n|gher Lducanon Access and Success |n Þuerto k|co 9

Soc|a| structura| factors |n the educanona| aua|nment of |ow-|ncome popu|anons 11

Iam||y Structura| and Soc|a| Cap|ta| Iactors ke|ated to Lducanona| Aua|nment 11

Iam||y s|ze and structure 12

Þarent educanon, occupanon, and |ncome 12

Soc|a| cap|ta| 12

Schoo| and Ne|ghborhood Structura| Iactors ke|ated to Lducanona| Aua|nment 13

Çua||tanve kesearch on Structura| Constra|nts 13

Summary 14

Methodo|ogy 17

Samp|e 17

Data Sources 17

Var|ab|es 18

Data ana|ys|s 20

kesu|ts 23

Ana|ys|s 1 kesu|ts 23

Ana|ys|s 2 kesu|ts 24

D|scuss|on 29

Conc|us|ons 33

Þo||cy Imp||canons and kecommendanons 34

Lndnotes 3S

keferences 37

! i

! ii

Executi ve Summar y

Þro[ect Summary

1hls sLudy was parL of a mlxed-meLhods research pro[ecL, ºSocloeconomlc SLrauñcauon of Lducauonal

AualnmenL ln ÞuerLo 8lco" conducLed by researchers from Lhe CenLer for Applled Soclal 8esearch aL Lhe

unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco-Mayaguez (uÞ8M) from !anuary 2009 Lo March 2010. 1he pro[ecL was funded

by Lhe ÞuerLo 8lco Plgher Lducauon Councll (CLSÞ8). Socloeconomlc facLors are well-known Lo play a

role ln lndlvldual educauonal ouLcomes ln Lhe research llLeraLure, buL emplrlcal evldence ls lacklng Lo

subsLanuaLe Lhls relauonshlp ln ÞuerLo 8lco. 1he sLudy used exlsung daLa from lnsuLuuonal daLabases aL

uÞ8M Lo examlne how socloeconomlc facLors lnßuence perslsLence ln college ln ÞuerLo 8lco. 1he ñn-

dlngs of Lhe sLudy and lLs recommendauons wlll beneñL hlgher educauon, communlLy, and non-proñL

leaders ln ÞuerLo 8lco as Lhey alm Lo ensure all soclal secLors of ÞuerLo 8lco have access Lo hlgher edu-

cauon and en[oy Lhe soclal and economlc beneñLs of advanced educauonal preparauon.

8ackground

Slnce 2004, Lhe CenLer for 8esearch and uocumenLauon on Plgher Lducauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco (CLuLSÞ) of

Lhe ÞuerLo 8lco Plgher Lducauon Councll (CLSÞ8) has awarded $993,000 Loward 26 research pro[ecLs on

hlgher educauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco. 1he currenL pro[ecL ls Lhe ñrsL of lLs klnd for CLSÞ8, boLh for lLs broad

focus on socloeconomlc facLors and educauonal aualnmenL, and for Lhe slze of Lhe award ($76,000).

1he pro[ecL ls also Lhe ñrsL publlcly funded, mulu-meLhod research sLudy ln ÞuerLo 8lco Lo emplrlcally

examlne Lhe llnks beLween socloeconomlc sLaLus, geographlc locauon, and educauonal ouLcomes.

1he prlnclpal lnvesugaLor for Lhe sLudy ls a faculLy member and researcher aL Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo

8lco-Mayaguez's CenLer for Applled Soclal 8esearch (ClSA). 1he funds allocaLed by CLSÞ8 provlded relea-

se ume for Lhe researcher, wages for undergraduaLe research asslsLanLs, and maLerlals and supplles. 1he

admlnlsLrauve asslsLanL for Lhe CenLer for unlverslLy Access aL uÞ8M provlded admlnlsLrauve supporL.

1he Carva[al Þro[ecL for Lhe uemocrauzauon of knowledge supporLed Lhe wrlung and edlung of Lhe re-

sulLs as parL of lLs Worklng Þaper serles.

Þrocess

1hls pro[ecL lncluded four separaLe buL relaLed sLudles LhaL provlde emplrlcal evldence for Lhe lnßuence

of socloeconomlc facLors on overall levels of educauonal aualnmenL ln ÞuerLo 8lco. 1he bulk of Lhe

research for Lhls sLudy was conducLed beLween AugusL and uecember 2009, based on Lhe avallablllLy of

daLa and Lhe schedule of Lhe researcher.

1

uaLa from admlsslons, enrollmenL, and economlc asslsLance daLabases aL Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco-

Mayaguez (uÞ8M) were complled wlLh asslsLance from personnel from Lhe uÞ8 Cmce of Lhe vlce-

ÞresldenL of SLudenL Añalrs, Lhe uÞ8M lnformauon 1echnology CenLer, and Lhe uÞ8M Cmce of

lnsuLuuonal 8esearch and Þlannlng Lo sLudy how socloeconomlc facLors predlcL reLenuon ln college. 1wo

separaLe samples of ñrsL year, ñrsL ume degree seeklng sLudenLs were creaLed, based on avallablllLy of

valld and rellable daLa on academlc preparauon, famlly sLrucLure, and parenL educauon and lncome.

I|nd|ngs and Conc|us|ons

•

Þrevlous research on socloeconomlc sLrauñcauon of educauonal aualnmenL ln Lhe unlLed SLaLes

and lnLernauonally llnks sLrucLural facLors ln famllles, schools, and nelghborhoods Lo educauonal

aualnmenL. Low-lncome famllles Lend Lo have more resLrlcLed access Lo Lhe forms of soclal

caplLal assoclaLed wlLh hlgher aualnmenL (parenL educauon level, parenL-chlld lnLeracuon, and

lnLeracuons of parenLs and chlldren wlLh school personnel). School quallLy ls an lmporLanL facLor

ln aualnmenL, and low-lncome youLh are also more llkely Lo auend mlddle and hlgh schools LhaL

do noL provlde Lhe academlc preparauon or Lhe ºcollege-golng culLure" en[oyed by Lhelr hlgher

lncome peers.

•

Plgh lncome sLudenLs whose parenLs auended college were slgnlñcanLly more llkely Lo perslsL ln

college Lhan low lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs. 1here were some gender-based dlñerences ln

academlc preparauon and socloeconomlc facLors LhaL predlcL reLenuon among sLudenLs who

apply for ñnanclal ald. ?oung men's perslsLence appears Lo be relaLed Lo academlc preparauon

and publlc school auendance, whlle young women's perslsLence ls relaLed Lo hlgh school CÞA,

parenLs' marlLal sLaLus, and publlc school auendance.

1hese ñndlngs provlde emplrlcal evldence for educauonal aualnmenL lnequlues ln ÞuerLo 8lco. Lven

among Lhose who enroll ln Lhe mosL selecuve hlgher educauon lnsuLuuon on Lhe lsland - unlverslLy of

ÞuerLo 8lco - socloeconomlc and sLrucLural facLors play a role ln wheLher Lhey conunue Lhelr sLudles

beyond Lhe ñrsL year.

Þo||cy Imp||canons and kecommendanons

Whlle Lhe sLudy was noL deslgned Lo analyze or evaluaLe any parucular sLaLe or lnsuLuuonal pollcles, Lhe

ñndlngs cerLalnly call auenuon Lo areas of pollcy and research focus for hlgher educauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco.

8ased on our experlences and on Lhe ñndlngs of our research, we ldenuñed ñve recommendauons for

publlc governmenL and hlgher educauon lnsuLuuonal leaders.

1. 1he Leg|s|ature and the Þuerto k|co n|gher Lducanon Counc|| (CLSÞk) must foster |ncreased

ava||ab|||ty of bas|c student data to a||ow the ana|ys|s of soc|oeconom|c factors and co||ege

outcomes at the |s|and |eve|. A llmlLauon of Lhe currenL pro[ecL was Lhe sample from a slngle

lnsuLuuon. lnsuLuuonal daLa are slmply noL shared aL Lhe lsland level. lnsuLuuons already com-

plle sLudenL-level daLa Lo comply wlLh Lhe lnsuLuuonal-level federal reporung requlremenLs of

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

2!

Lhe lnLegraLed ÞosLsecondary uaLa SysLem (lÞLuS) - Lhese daLa could be provlded Lo CLSÞ8,

wlLhouL personal or lnsuLuuonally ldenufylng lnformauon.(

2. A|| students must have access to a "co||ege preparanon" curr|cu|um |n m|dd|e and h|gh schoo|.

1he ñndlngs of Lhls sLudy clearly show LhaL prevlous academlc preparauon ls crlucal for sLudenLs'

success ln college. Þollcles LhaL Lrack cerLaln sLudenLs lnLo less challenglng currlcula aL an early

age dlscourage furLher sLudy, and ln gaps ln sLudenL knowledge whlch become apparenL when

sLudenLs enroll ln unlverslLy-level classes. Whlle noL all sLudenLs wlll wanL Lo auend unlverslLy,

Lhe facL LhaL Lhey are prepared Lo do so would be an advanLage for Lhem, lndlvldually, ln Lhe

labor markeL, and for ÞuerLo 8lco as a nauon, by havlng a well-educaLed publlc.

3. A|| students |n h|gh schoo| must have access to preparanon for Co||ege 8oard tests, as we|| as

equa| opportun|nes to take the tests. Clven Lhe lmporLance of sLandardlzed LesL scores for

sLudenL success ln college, as shown ln Lhe ñndlngs of Lhls sLudy, access Lo LesL preparauon and

opporLunlLy Lo paruclpaLe ln Lhe LesL ls lmperauve Lo lncreaslng socloeconomlc dlverslLy ln Lhe

publlc unlverslLy. 1he College Access Challenge CranL pro[ecL as Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco has

made lmporLanL sLrldes ln Lhls dlrecuon, by subsldlzlng Lhe cosL of Laklng Lhe LesL for all grade 12

sLudenLs ln 2009.

4. n|gher educanon |nsntunons must deve|op or strengthen eñorts to reta|n |ower SLS students.

uslng lnsuLuuonal research lnfrasLrucLure, lnsuLuuons should focus on sLudylng whlch sLudenLs

are more llkely Lo leave aûer Lhelr ñrsL year, along wlLh Lhe speclñc needs of Lhose sLudenLs for

exLended orlenLauon or academlc supporL. 1hen, resources musL be allocaLed (or re-allocaLed)

Lo eñorLs LhaL wlll promoLe Lhe perslsLence of Lhose sLudenLs mosL llkely Lo leave. Ample evl-

dence on besL pracuces ls avallable ln Lhe llLeraLure - buL lL ls lmporLanL Lo examlne whaL wlll

work ln a parucular lnsuLuuonal conLexL.

3. Iurther research |s necessary to understand the barr|ers to co||ege retennon among |ow |n-

come students |n Þuerto k|co. Lvldence from uÞ8M suggesLs LhaL Lhe aurluon raLes for low ln-

come sLudenLs are Lwlce as hlgh as Lhelr hlgher lncome peers, and Lhe ñndlngs ln Lhe currenL

pro[ecL showed LhaL parenL lncome and educauon level play a key role ln predlcung reLenuon.

lurLher research ls needed Lo undersLand whaL barrlers Lhese sLudenLs face, ln conLrasL Lo hlgher

lncome peers, quallLauve research should play an lmporLanL role. ConcepLual frameworks lnclud-

lng soclal and culLural caplLal would also help Lo provlde more Lheoreucal Lools Lo undersLand

educauonal lnequlLy ln Þ8.

3

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

4!

I ntroducti on and Purpose

Access Lo and success ln hlgher educauon for low-lncome sLudenLs has emerged as a focus ln recenL

years glven Lhe ever-lncreaslng lmporLance of Lhe bachelor's degree for soclal moblllLy (e.g., 8owen, kur-

zwell, & 1obln, 2003, 1lnLo, 2006). Among Lhe mosL promlnenL Lheoreucal and concepLual models used

Lo examlne sLudenL success ln college are culLural reproducuon, culLural caplLal, and sLaLus aualnmenL

Lheorles (Þerna & 1homas, 2008, Walpole, 2008), emphaslzlng Lhe lnßuence of soclal class orlglns on

educauonal ouLcomes. 1hls sLudy uullzed daLa from one publlc four-year lnsuLuuon ln ÞuerLo 8lco - Lhe

unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco-Mayaguez Campus - Lo examlne Lhe eñecLs of socloeconomlc facLors and aca-

demlc preparauon on ñrsL Lo second year reLenuon.l

Socloeconomlc facLors, lncludlng parenL educauon, lncome, and soclal caplLal, are assoclaLed wlLh edu-

cauonal aualnmenL and achlevemenL. Whlle college compleuon ls a classlc aualnmenL measure, reLen-

uon ls anoLher lndlcaLor of aualnmenL LhaL ls used ln hlgher educauon research. Clven LhaL Lhe probabl-

llLy of dropplng ouL of college ls hlghesL ln Lhe ñrsL year (LevlLz, noel, & 8lchLer, 1999), reLenuon Lo se-

cond year of sLudles serves as an lndlcaLor of llkellhood Lo graduaLe. Cverall, hlgher educauon research

shows LhaL socloeconomlc facLors lncludlng famlly lncome and parenL educauonal aualnmenL are poslu-

vely assoclaLed wlLh sLudenL reLenuon ln college (e.g., Possler & vesper, 1993, Þascarella & Chapman,

1983, Þascarella & 1erenzlnl, 1980). More recenL research has focused on lower reLenuon raLes among

sLudenLs whose parenLs dld noL compleLe college, or ºñrsL-generauon" college sLudenLs (Porn, 1998,

lshlLanl, 2003, 2006, nunez & Cuccaro-Alamln, 1998, 8lehl, 1994).

Academlc preparauon reßecLs college readlness (Þerna & 1homas, 2008), and prlor academlc achleve-

menL ls posluvely llnked Lo perslsLence ln college (8raxLon, uusLer, & Þascarella, 1988, Þascarella &

Chapman, 1983, Þascarella & 1erenzlnl, 1980). ln a recenL sLudy of 20 years of nauonal daLa, researchers

from AC1 found LhaL hlgh school CÞA and sLandardlzed LesL scores are Lhe academlc facLors mosL sLron-

gly assoclaLed wlLh college reLenuon (LoLkowskl, 8obblns, & noeLh, 2004). lurLher, lL ls known LhaL aca-

demlc preparauon, lncludlng Lracklng and advanced course Laklng, ls llnked Lo soclal class (Cabrera &

Lanasa, 2000, Camoran, ÞorLer, SmlLhson, & WhlLe, 1997), demonsLraung Lhe complexlLy of Lhe sLudy of

Lhe conLrlbuuon of academlc and background characLerlsucs Lo educauonal ouLcomes.

8elauvely llule research has been done Lo examlne Lhe predlcLors of college reLenuon ouLslde of Lhe unl-

Led SLaLes. 8ecenL research on college golng plans among ÞuerLo 8lcan hlgh school sLudenLs has de-

monsLraLed LhaL facLors such as famlly lncome, parenL educauonal level, ownlng Lhe famlly home, and

school Lype (publlc vs. prlvaLe) play a role (Munlz Cracla, 2010, vásquez, 1orres, & negrón, 2004). Powe-

5

ver, Lhere ls llmlLed publlshed research ln ÞuerLo 8lco LhaL looks aL socloeconomlc facLors relaLed Lo per-

slsLence and performance ln college. 1hls sLudy addresses Lhls gap Lhrough lnvesugauon of Lhe predlcuve

ablllLy of academlc preparauon and soclal sLrucLural facLors on reLenuon uslng Lwo dlñerenL daLa seLs

complled from Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco-Mayaguez daLa bases. 1he analyses lnvolved modellng aca-

demlc preparauon and socloeconomlc facLors as predlcLors of reLenuon.

SllghLly dlñerenL famlly and school socloeconomlc measures are used ln each of Lhe Lwo analyses, Lo ex-

plore Lhelr uullLy and approprlaLeness. Selecuon and operauonallzauon of Lhese varlables was gulded by

Lhe ñndlngs of Lhe llLeraLure revlew. ln Lhe ñrsL analysls, socloeconomlc sLaLus was measured as Lhe sLu-

denL belonglng Lo one of four famlly lncome-educauon groups based on ñrsL generauon sLaLus and ln-

come caLegory (low vs hlgh). 8ased on Lhe known lmporLance of school sLrucLure varlables, socloecono-

mlc and achlevemenL varlables from Lhe sLudenL's hlgh school of orlgln were also lncluded. School com-

posluon varlables comprlsed average Lngllsh achlevemenL and proporuon ñrsL generauon, among sLu-

denLs admlued Lo uÞ8M. We were unable Lo access any nelghborhood level varlables due Lo Lhe llmlLed

lnformauon avallable ln Lhe uÞ8M daLabase and Lhe llmlLed ume frame for compleuon of Lhls sLudy

1

. ln

Lhe second analysls, famlly sLrucLural varlables avallable from ñnanclal ald appllcauon daLa (slze, parenL

marlLal sLaLus, Leen moLher), ñrsL generauon sLaLus, and parenL lncome were lncluded as socloeconomlc

background facLors, whlle school Lype (publlc vs prlvaLe) was lncluded as a measure of school socloeco-

nomlc composluon.

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

6!

1

uslng Lhe Census and ClS daLabase recenLly creaLed by ClSA researchers for Lhe larger pro[ecL, ln fuLure analyses we should be

able Lo add nelghborhood level socloeconomlc varlables Lo allow modellng of nelghborhood eñecLs.

7

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

8!

Context of Hi gher Educati on

Access and Success i n Puerto

Ri co

1here are unlque challenges Lo educauonal access and aualnmenL ln ÞuerLo 8lco. Whlle Lhe currenL dla-

logue ls Lhe unlLed SLaLes ls focused on hlgh cosLs of college educauon, Lhe conversauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco

oûen focuses on Lhe dlchoLomy of publlc vs. prlvaLe educauon. 1he ma[orlLy of ÞuerLo 8lcan youLh aL-

Lend publlc schools, abouL 80° of sLudenLs ln Lhe ñnal year of hlgh school. lnversely, Lhe ma[orlLy of sLu-

denLs enrolled ln hlgher educauon - 39° - auend prlvaLe lnsuLuuons (Cámara luerLes, 2007). A look ln-

slde Lhe largesL publlc hlgher educauon lnsuLuuon - Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco (uÞ8) - reveals LhaL

only abouL 60° of Lhe enLerlng class auended a publlc school. Why do Lhe publlc/prlvaLe enrollmenL

pauerns for k-12 and hlgher educauon so dlñer so drasucally? lsn'L publlc educauon supposed Lo be mo-

re accesslble Lhan prlvaLe educauon? lndeed, Luluon and fees for Lhe uÞ8 are slgnlñcanLly lower Lhan for

Lhe prlvaLe lnsuLuuons - only $43 per credlL hour ln 2009-10. 1he maxlmum Þell CranL more Lhan covers

full-ume enrollmenL and room and board cosLs. 1he uÞ8 ls arguably more accesslble, cosL-wlse, for even

Lhe lowesL lncome famllles ln ÞuerLo 8lco when compared Lo oLher opuons. Powever, on oLher crlLerla,

uÞ8 ls much less accesslble Lhan lLs prlvaLe counLerparLs. Whlle enrollmenL ln hlgh demand programs

such as englneerlng and blology ls conLrolled by admlsslon lndex requlremenLs, many of Lhe prlvaLe lnsu-

Luuons have an open admlsslons pollcy. Lven more Lroubllng are oLher Lendencles, for hlgh demand

programs Lo ºauracL" sLudenLs from hlgher socloeconomlc backgrounds, and from prlvaLe hlgh schools,

and for sLudenLs from hlgher lncome famllles Lo perslsL aL hlgher levels LhaL sLudenLs from low lncome

backgrounds. 1hus, lL ls apparenL LhaL we cannoL Lalk abouL Lhe publlc/prlvaLe dlchoLomy ln ÞuerLo 8lco

wlLhouL Lalklng abouL socloeconomlc facLors LhaL lnßuence academlc preparauon and enrollmenL.

9

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

10!

Soci al structural factors i n the

educati onal attai nment of

l ow-i ncome popul ati ons

8oLh soclal sLrucLural and culLural explanauons have been examlned ln Lhe llLeraLure on educauonal aL-

LalnmenL and achlevemenL (see Þearce, 2006 for a summary, see also lram, Mlller-Crlbbs, & van Porn,

2007). lurLher, culLural reproducuon and culLural caplLal Lheorles are lncreaslngly used Lo frame sLudles

of educauonal experlences and ouLcomes, lncludlng college enrollmenL and success (Þerna & 1homas,

2008, Walpole, 2008). 1hls revlew ls focused on sLudles of eñecLs of soclal sLrucLural and soclal caplLal

facLors on hlgh school and college aualnmenL publlshed slnce 1993. 1hls revlew lncludes represenLauve

sLudles from Lhree bodles of llLeraLure: research examlnlng Lhe eñecLs of famlly sLrucLural facLors such as

famlly slze, famlly sLrucLure, and socloeconomlc sLaLus, research examlnlng Lhe eñecLs of school and

nelghborhood/communlLy sLrucLural facLors, such as socloeconomlc segregauon, and sLudles uslng qua-

llLauve meLhods LhaL lncorporaLe famlly, school, and nelghborhood conLexLs Lo undersLand how socloe-

conomlc sLaLus lnLersecLs wlLh race and eLhnlclLy Lo llmlL or enhance young people's aualnmenL.

Family Structural and Social Capital Factors Related to Educational

Attainment

lnLeresL ln Lhe eñecLs of famlly sLrucLure varlables on educauonal ouLcomes has been promlnenL ln Lhe

u.S. research llLeraLure slnce Lhe publlcauon of !ames Coleman's ºLquallLy of Lducauonal CpporLunlLy"

ln 1966. 1wenLy years laLer, Coleman (1988) used daLa from Lhe Plgh School and 8eyond SLudy (PS8) Lo

demonsLraLe LhaL cerLaln famlly characLerlsucs - Lwo parenLs ln Lhe home, lower number of slbllngs,

hlgher parenLal expecLauons, and lnLergenerauonal closure - are assoclaLed wlLh sLaylng ln school. Co-

leman deñned Lhese characLerlsucs as forms of ºsoclal" caplLal LhaL are generaLed by parenLs ln Lhelr

relauons wlLh Lhelr chlldren, wlLh school agenLs, and wlLh Lhe parenLs of Lhelr chlldren's frlends. ln con-

LrasL, lrench soclologlsL Þlerre 8ourdleu's (1986) concepL of soclal caplLal bullL on Lheorles of culLural

reproducuon Lo suggesL LhaL sLrucLural consLralnLs (soclal class, gender, eLhnlclLy) relnforce unequal ac-

cess Lo resources.

! 11

Family size and structure

1he resulLs of research LhaL llnks famlly slze and sLrucLure wlLh educauonal aualnmenL generally show

LhaL hlgher aualnmenL ls relaLed wlLh smaller household slze and Lwo-parenL famlly sLrucLures. lor

example, analyses of longlLudlnal daLa from Lhe 1960s Lhrough early 1980s llnk ºLradluonal" famlly sLruc-

Lure (faLher ln Lhe home) wlLh college enrollmenL and compleuon (lursLenberg & Pughes, 1993), and

household slze wlLh years of schoollng (uyk & Wllson, 1999). Analyses of large scale panel daLa from Lhe

early and mld 1980s demonsLraLe LhaL nonLradluonal famlly sLrucLure (l.e., slngle parenL) and greaLer

number of slbllngs predlcL dropplng ouL of hlgh school (lsrael, 8eaulleu, & ParLless, 2001, SmlLh, 8eau-

lleu, & lsrael, 1992). ln recenL years, Lhese varlables have become less vlslble ln Lhe soclology and edu-

cauon llLeraLure. We conLend LhaL Lhls represenLs a concepLual shlû ln Lhese ñelds Lo lncorporaLe soclal

and culLural caplLal explanauons of educauonal achlevemenL and aualnmenL.

Parent education, occupation, and income

Lducauon, occupauon, and lncome are Lhe Lhree Lradluonal componenLs of socloeconomlc sLaLus (SLS),

and sLaLus aualnmenL Lheorles have purporLed LhaL one's soclal class ls correlaLed wlLh Lhe soclal class of

orlgln slnce Lhe 1960s. 8ecenLly publlshed sLudles lllusLraLe Lhe conunued lmporLance of SLS ln explal-

nlng educauonal aualnmenL, buL lncorporaLe ecologlcal lnßuences and culLural explanauons as well.

Comparlng hlgh ablllLy-low SLS wlLh moderaLe ablllLy-hlgh SLS 8Lh graders ln Lhe u.S., 8aker (2009)

found LhaL Lhe former were Lwlce as llkely Lo compleLe a bachelor's degree. 1hese resulLs, he lndlcaLes,

suggesL LhaL ablllLy ls more lmporLanL Lhan SLS for predlcung economlc moblllLy. 8ased on analyses of

longlLudlnal and eLhnographlc daLa from rural Appalachlan youLh, 8rown and colleagues (2009) found

LhaL lower exposure Lo famlly poverLy and hlgher levels of parenL educauon were assoclaLed wlLh hlgher

levels of aualnmenL (hlgh school and college graduauon), and LhaL communlLy poverLy and aualnmenL

levels were noL slgnlñcanL ln predlcung aualnmenL aûer addlng famlly lnßuences Lo Lhelr model. Slmllar-

ly, Marle, lergusson, and 8oden (2008) found LhaL conLrolllng for parenL educauon and lncome neuLrall-

zed Lhe predlcuve power of culLural ldenuLy ln explalnlng years of schoollng aualned by Maorl youLh ln

new Zealand. 1ogeLher Lhese resulLs suggesL LhaL Lhe currenL pracuce of ºconLrolllng for" SLS when

sLudylng oLher lnßuences on aualnmenL (e.g., culLural ldenuLy, academlc ablllLy), ls an lmporLanL one Lo

ensure LhaL Lhe unlque eñecLs of Lhose oLher facLors can be esumaLed.

Social capital

uurlng Lhe laLe 1990s and early 2000s, research on educauonal aualnmenL began Lo lncorporaLe famlly

soclal caplLal varlables as posslble predlcLors of hlgh school graduauon and college aualnmenL, drawlng

prlmarlly from Lhe daLa avallable from Lhe nauonal Lducauonal LonglLudlnal SLudy of 1988 (nLLS:88)

and oLher panel sLudles (see ulka & Slngh, 2002 for an exLenslve revlew). 8esulLs of analyses of nLLS:88

show LhaL parenLal expecLauons and asplrauons, parenL-Leen communlcauon and parenL monlLorlng,

number of moves (resldenual sLablllLy), parenL communlcauon wlLh school, and lnLergenerauonal closu-

re predlcL hlgh school compleuon (Carbonaro, 1998, lsrael eL al., 2001, Muller & Llllson, 2001,

1eachman, Þaasch, & Carver, 1996, ?an, 1999). CLher longlLudlnal sLudles evldence Lhe lmporLance of

lnLergenerauonal closure, parenLs' soclal neLwork, parenL monlLorlng, number of frlends known by pa-

renL, and parenL lnvolvemenL ln Lhe school ln hlgh school graduauon and college enrollmenL (lursLen-

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

12!

berg & Pughes, 1993, WhlLe & Cllck, 2000). Movlng ls negauvely relaLed Lo Lhese Lwo ouLcomes

(PoñerLh 8ols[oly, & uuncan, 1998). lamlly dlscusslon, parenLs' lnßuence and expecLauons, parenL-

school lnvolvemenL, and parenL monlLorlng have also been found Lo predlcL years of schoollng (uyk &

Wllson, 1999, kalml[n & kraaykamp, 1996, López, 1996).

School and Neighborhood Structural Factors Related to Educational

Attainment

AnoLher explanauon for educauonal aualnmenL gaps focuses on socloeconomlc segregauon ln schools

and nelghborhoods as posslble causes of dlñerenual ouLcomes. Mayer (2002) noLes LhaL research on

school ñnance and nelghborhood socloeconomlc composluon provldes a useful background Lo unders-

Land how such segregauon añecLs aualnmenL.

8ouse and 8arrow (2006) summarlze conLradlcLory research ln Lhe area of school ñnance. Whlle Pa-

nushek (1989, 1996) has suggesLed LhaL, aûer conLrolllng for SLS, school fundlng does noL predlcL sLu-

denL achlevemenL, oLher researchers have challenged hls meLhods (Pedges, Lalne, & Creenwald, 1994,

krueger, 2003). lncreased fundlng Lo schools servlng low lncome sLudenLs has resulLed ln lmproved

achlevemenL, based on Lhe analysls of federal 1lLle l program evaluauons (8orman & u'Agosuno, 1996).

CLher researchers have found LhaL lnequallues ln school fundlng (per pupll spendlng) are llnked Lo lne-

quallues ln Leacher and school quallLy, and ulumaLely, ln educauonal ouLcomes (8eus, 8ueben, & ua-

nenburg, 2000, 8lddle & 8erllner, 2003).

8esearch lnvesugaung nelghborhood eñecLs suggesLs Lhe advanLages and dlsadvanLages of havlng

ºaMuenL" communlLy members, Lhey can generaLe beneñLs for Lhelr nelghbors, buL Lend Lo wln ouL

agalnsL Lhelr more dlsadvanLaged peers when compeung ln Lhe school and Lhe [ob markeL, creaung mo-

re economlcally homogeneous nelghborhoods (Mayer, 2002). uslng u.S. census and Þanel SLudy of ln-

come uynamlcs (ÞSlu) daLa, Mayer (2002) suggesLs LhaL lncreases ln economlc segregauon beLween

1970 and 1990 dld noL añecL overall educauonal aualnmenL levels, buL resulLed ln a wldened gap beL-

ween Lhe aualnmenL levels of low- and hlgh-lncome chlldren.

Qualitative Research on Structural Constraints

1he alm of Lhls revlew ls qulLe narrowly focused on socloeconomlc and sLrucLural facLors relaLed Lo aL-

LalnmenL, whlch prlvlleges Lhe lncluslon of quanuLauve research. We would llke Lo hlghllghL Lhe fo-

llowlng Lhree sLudles as Lhey represenL Lhe naLure of quallLauve research on aualnmenL LhaL lnvesugaLes

Lhe ºlnLeracuve eñecLs" (PorvaL, 2003) of race and eLhnlclLy, gender, and class on young people's Lra[ec-

Lorles, Laklng lnLo accounL famlly, school, and nelghborhood conLexLs.

SLanLon-Salazar (2001) sLudled Lhe soclal neLworks of Mexlcan Amerlcan youLh Lo develop a model of

Lhe prlnclpal facLors añecung neLwork developmenL, parucularly wlLh school agenLs. 1hese facLors lnclu-

de sLrauñcauon forces, counLersLrauñcauon forces, subculLural forces, and socleLal hlerarchles. Pe na-

mes seven forms of lnsuLuuonally-based funds of knowledge LhaL are essenual for sLudenLs Lo acuvaLe

soclal caplLal: (a) lnsuLuuonally-sancuoned dlscourse, (b) academlc Lask-speclñc knowledge, (c)

knowledge of how bureaucracles work, (d) neLworklng skllls, (e) Lechnlcal funds of knowledge (compuLer

! 13

use, sLudylng, LesL Laklng, ume managemenL), (f) knowledge of Lhe labor and educauonal markeLs, and

(g) problem-solvlng knowledge. SLanLon-Salazar also ldenuñes Lhe forms of lnsuLuuonal supporL LhaL

faclllLaLe Lhe acuvauon process, lncludlng lmpllclL and expllclL soclallzauon lnLo lnsuLuuonal dlscourses,

brldglng connecuons Lo gaLekeepers and oLher soclal neLworks, advocacy, modellng eñecuve coplng wlLh

sLrauñcauon forces (help-seeklng, problem solvlng), emouonal and moral supporL, and personallzed ad-

vlce and guldance.

PorvaL (2003) dlscusses Lhe uullLy of 8ourdleu's concepL of hablLus Lo undersLand how educauonal expe-

rlences and ouLcomes are lnßuences by sLrucLural facLors - namely, race and class. PorvaL presenLs an

example from a longlLudlnal sLudy of Afrlcan Amerlcan women from college appllcauon Lhrough gradua-

uon. She asserLs LhaL race and class lnLeracL Lo shape how Lhese women lnLerpreL educauonal opporLu-

nlLy, and LhaL Lhe meanlng of race and class shlûed for Lhe sLudenLs as Lhey moved Lhrough dlñerenL

ñelds of lnLeracuon - hlgh school Lhrough college.

Lew's (2006) research on korean-Amerlcan dropouLs draws on paruclpanL observauon, lnLervlews, sur-

vey and documenL analysls. Pe looked aL how SLS background, soclal caplLal, and school resources añecL

asplrauons and aualnmenL of korean Amerlcan youLh ln new ?ork ClLy. Lew references Lhe work of

SLanLon-Salazar (2001), and noLes how economlc, llngulsuc, and culLural barrlers llmlL access Lo lnsuLu-

uonal supporL and accumulauon of soclal caplLal for low lncome korean Amerlcans. Pe also explores Lhe

ºlneñecuve" learnlng envlronmenL and lack of carlng relauonshlps wlLh school personnel as barrlers Lo

conunulng ln school. Lew found LhaL Lhese young people were hlghly aware of Lhelr ºoLherness" as ml-

norlLy and low lncome sLaLus. Lew suggesLs LhaL varlablllLy wlLhln eLhnlc groups musL be crlucally examl-

ned Lo undersLand barrlers Lo developlng and accesslng resources ln soclal neLworks.

Summary

1he research evldence overwhelmlngly conñrms LhaL soclal sLrucLural facLors resLrlcL and faclllLaLe edu-

cauonal aualnmenL. 8esearch on famlly sLrucLures and soclal caplLal generally demonsLraLes posluve

llnks beLween hlgher SLS and educauonal aualnmenL. MosL of Lhe sLudles uullzlng soclal caplLal have

concepLual and meLhodologlcal llmlLauons, lncludlng concepLual valldlLy. SLudles on school and

nelghborhood sLrucLural facLors suggesL LhaL socloeconomlc segregauon and educauonal aualnmenL

gaps may perpeLuaLe one anoLher, and LhaL gaps beLween low lncome and hlgh lncome groups wlll con-

unue Lo wlden.

1he ñndlngs of Lhe revlew have lmpllcauons for Lhe deslgn of research sLudles on Lhe eñecLs of SLS on

aualnmenL:

- ÞarenL educauon and lncome are lmporLanL varlables LhaL musL be modeled as parL of sLudenLs' so-

cloeconomlc sLaLus (SLS).

- Soclal caplLal varlables - such as lnLeracuon wlLh parenLs or wlLh educauonal agenLs - may also help

explaln educauonal aualnmenL, buL some researchers have crluclzed Lhe measuremenL of soclal capl-

Lal ln educauonal research, clung LhaL lL prlmarlly acLs as a proxy for SLS (see ulka & Slngh, 2002 for a

dlscusslon).

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

14!

- ln sLudles on educauonal aualnmenL among marglnallzed groups, lL ls essenual Lo ask paruclpanLs

abouL undersLandlngs of Lhe barrlers Lhey and oLhers faced ln Lhelr homes, schools, and communlues

Lo conunulng Lhelr educauon Lhrough and beyond hlgh school.

! 15

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

16!

Methodol ogy

Samp|e

1hls sLudy lnvolves Lhe use of Lwo dlñerenL samples of sLudenL daLa from uÞ8M. 1he samples were

creaLed by Lhe researchers from exlsung daLa based on avallablllLy of valld and rellable daLa. Whlle Lhey

overlap somewhaL, LogeLher Lhey represenL an eleven year ume span of uÞ8M enLerlng freshmen

beLween 1998 Lo 2009.

1he sample for Lhe ñrsL analysls was composed of Lhe records of 3,987 undergraduaLe sLudenLs selecLed

from Lhe enure populauon of ñrsL-ume undergraduaLe sLudenLs enLerlng uÞ8M beLween 1998 and 2006

(n=20,131). 1he crlLerlon for lncluslon ln Lhe sample was based on Lwo exLremes of famlly lncome: from

below $7,499 Lo $14,999, and $40,000 or hlgher. 1hese ranges represenL Lhe ñrsL Lhree and lasL Lwo

lncome ranges on Lhe uÞ8 admlsslons form. 1he caLegorles were labeled low-lncome and hlgh-lncome,

roughly equlvalenL Lo Lhe Lwo lower qulnules and Lhe Lop qulnule of medlan famlly lncomes ln ÞuerLo

8lco, based on Lhe 2007 Amerlcan CommunlLy Survey.

1he sample for Lhe second analysls lncluded records of ñrsL-year, ñrsL ume degree seeklng sLudenLs who

applled for ñnanclal ald Lo sLudy aL uÞ8M beLween 2003 and 2009 (n=7,006). SLudenL records were

lncluded ln Lhe sample lf Lhey were admlued Lo and enrolled ln uÞ8M.

Data Sources

1hls sLudy uullzes admlsslons and enrollmenL daLa avallable ln Lhe sLudenL lnformauon sysLem aL Lhe

lnsuLuuon. 1here are a llmlLed number of socloeconomlc varlables avallable ln Lhese daLabases,

essenually, parenL lncome and educauon, based on Lhe lnformauon LhaL sLudenLs provlde durlng Lhe

admlsslons process. 1he lncome measure ls LruncaLed aL Lhe hlgher end, as Lhe ñnal caLegory lncludes

lncomes of $30,000 or hlgher. We obLalned daLa from Lhe ñnanclal ald appllcauon process (lAlSA) for

Lhe second seL of analyses, speclñcally Lo allow us Lo model soclal sLrucLure and socloeconomlc varlables

LhaL are noL avallable ln Lhe admlsslons and enrollmenL daLa, for example, famlly slze, parenL marlLal

sLaLus, and exacL famlly lncome, whlch have shown Lo be lmporLanL predlcLors of aualnmenL ln prevlous

research. Þersonnel from Lhe uÞ8 Cmce of Lhe vlce-ÞresldenL of SLudenL Añalrs, Lhe uÞ8M lnformauon

1echnology CenLer, and Lhe uÞ8M Cmce of lnsuLuuonal 8esearch and Þlannlng were lnsLrumenLal ln

obLalnlng and preparlng Lhe daLa from varlous daLabases. 1he daLa ñles were provlded ln Lxcel formaL,

and merged ñles conLalnlng Lhe varlables of lnLeresL were creaLed. 1hese ñles were exporLed Lo MlnlLab

(Analysls 1) and SÞSS (Analysls 2) Lo carry ouL Lhe descrlpuve and sLausucal analyses.

! 17

Var|ab|es

All varlables used ln Lhe analyses, along wlLh names, descrlpuons, and descrlpuve sLausucs, are shown ln

1ables 1 (Analysls 1) and 2 (Analysls 2).

Þrev|ous academ|c ach|evement. SLudenLs' scores on sLandardlzed unlverslLy admlsslon LesLs and hlgh

school CÞA are used as measures of prevlous academlc achlevemenL. 1he achlevemenL and apuLude

LesLs (Þrueba de Lvaluaclón y Admlslón unlverslLarla, or ÞLAu) were developed by Lhe College 8oard for

ÞuerLo 8lco, and have Lhe same scorlng as Lhe SA1 (range 200 Lo 800). Lngllsh achlevemenL and

maLhemaucs apuLude are lncluded ln Analysls 1, along wlLh Spanlsh verbal apuLude ln Analysls 2. 8oLh

analyses lncluded measures of hlgh school CÞA (four polnL scale). 1hese academlc achlevemenL varlables

were chosen because Lhey represenL Lhe componenLs of Lhe admlsslon lndex for Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo

8lco.

Ind|v|dua| soc|oeconom|c factors. ln Analysls 1, Lhe varlable famlly lncome-educauon group was creaLed

by comblnlng a sLudenL's lncome sLaLus (low= below $7,499 Lo $14,999 and hlgh=$40,000 or hlgher)

wlLh ñrsL generauon sLaLus. Whlle Lhe ñrsL and lasL caLegorles of Lhe admlsslons lncome scale (below

$7,499 and $30,000 or hlgher) roughly represenL Lhe Lop and bouom qulnules of medlan lncome ln

ÞuerLo 8lco, we lncluded addluonal caLegorles on elLher end Lo have a sumclenL number of cases for

analysls. Whlle ºñrsL generauon" sLaLus ls oûen deñned as nelLher parenL havlng compleLed a four-year

degree, we deñned ºñrsL generauon" ln Analysls 1 as sLudenLs for whom nelLher parenL had aualned any

more years of schoollng beyond a hlgh school degree. 1hls deñnluon was consldered Lo be more

approprlaLe for Lhe ÞuerLo 8lcan conLexL, as any years of schoollng beyond hlgh school generally

represenL a slgnlñcanL dlñerence ln lncome and occupauonal opuons. llrsL generauon sLaLus was

compuLed by recodlng moLher's and faLher's educauon varlables, Lhen compuung a slngle parenL

educauon varlable. ln Analysls 2, parenLs' gross lncome, number of famlly members, parenLs' marlLal

sLaLus (1=marrled, 0=oLher), wheLher moLher was Leen moLher (19 or younger), and ñrsL generauon

sLaLus were all lncluded as sLrucLural facLors. ln Lhe second analysls, Lhe more Lradluonal deñnluon of

ñrsL generauon was used, LhaL ls, sLudenLs were deñned as ñrsL generauon lf nelLher parenL had

compleLed a bachelor's degree. ln boLh analyses, sLudenLs who are noL ñrsL generauon are called

ºconunulng generauon".

Schoo| compos|non. lor Analysls 1, Lhe average Lngllsh achlevemenL score (school level Lngllsh

achlevemenL) and Lhe proporuon of ñrsL generauon sLudenLs (school level ñrsL generauon) aL Lhe

sLudenLs' hlgh school of orlgln were lncluded as measure of school composluon. 1he esumauon of Lhese

school level values ls llmlLed because lL could only be calculaLed for sLudenLs admlued Lo uÞ8M. Whlle

Lhese varlables do noL provlde an accuraLe represenLauon of Lhe composluon of Lhe sLudenLs' schools of

orlgln, we can use Lhem ln a cauuonary way Lo lnvesugaLe Lhe relevance of school composluon Lo

reLenuon. ln Analysls 2, school Lype (publlc vs prlvaLe) was Lhe sole measure of school composluon.

ketennon. 1he dependenL varlable for boLh of Lhese analyses ls reLenuon, measured as a dlchoLomous

varlable (0=sLudenL dld noL re-enroll ln ñrsL semesLer of second year, 1=sLudenL re-enrolled ln ñrsL

semesLer of second year).

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

18!

1ab|e 1. uescrlpuons of prevlous academlc achlevemenL, lndlvldual socloeconomlc facLors, and school

composluon facLors modeled ln Lhe predlcuon of reLenuon ln Analysls 1

Var|ab|e Descr|pnon and Þoss|b|e Va|ues Mean SD

Plgh school CÞA Plgh school CÞA (2.00 Lo 4.00) 3.36 0.40

SLandardlzed Lngllsh achlevemenL Score on ÞLAu Lngllsh achlevemenL LesL

(200-800)

394.28 103.96

SLandardlzed maLh apuLude Score on ÞLAu MaLhemaucs apuLude LesL

(200-800)

643.97 87.11

lamlly lncome and educauon

(dummy varlable)

Low-lncome, llrsL Cenerauon (reference)

Low-lncome, Conunulng Cenerauon

Plgh-lncome, llrsL Cenerauon

Plgh-lncome, Conunulng Cenerauon

-- --

School-level Lngllsh achlevemenL Average ÞLAu Lngllsh achlevemenL LesL

score amongsL admlued uÞ8M sLudenLs

from same school of orlgln

(200-800)

383.77 33.20

School -level ñrsL generauon Þroporuon of sLudenLs classlñed as ñrsL

generauon amongsL admlued uÞ8M sLu-

denLs from same school of orlgln

(0.00-1.00)

0.26 0.17

! 19

1ab|e 2. uescrlpuons of prevlous academlc achlevemenL, lndlvldual socloeconomlc facLors, and school

composluon facLors modeled ln Lhe predlcuon of reLenuon ln Analysls 2

Var|ab|e Descr|pnon and Þoss|b|e Va|ues Mean SD

Plgh school CÞA Plgh school CÞA (2.00 Lo 4.00) 3.67 0.34

SLandardlzed Lngllsh achlevemenL Score on ÞLAu Lngllsh achlevemenL LesL

(200-800)

362.01 112.39

SLandardlzed maLh apuLude Score on ÞLAu MaLhemaucs apuLude LesL

(200-800)

621.27 87.30

SLandardlzed Spanlsh apuLude Score on ÞLAu Spanlsh apuLude LesL

(200-800)

379.81 71.97

llrsL generauon sLaLus

(dummy varlable)

WheLher aL leasL one parenL compleLed a

bachelor's degree

(0=no, 1=yes)

-- --

ÞarenL lncome ÞarenLs' gross lncome reporLed on lAlSA

for year of admlsslon ($)

$30,074.16 $29,877.38

number of famlly members number of members ln famlly as reporLed

on lAlSA for year of admlsslon

3.83 1.38

ÞarenLs marrled

(dummy varlable)

WheLher parenLs were marrled as re-

porLed on lAlSA for year of admlsslon

(0=no, 1=yes)

-- --

1een moLher

(dummy varlable)

WheLher moLher was 19 or younger when

sLudenL born as reporLed on lAlSA for

year of admlsslon (calculaLed uslng

moLher and sLudenL years of blrLh)

(0=no, 1=yes)

-- --

Þubllc school auendance

(dummy varlable)

WheLher sLudenL auended publlc or prl-

vaLe hlgh school

(0=prlvaLe, 1=publlc)

-- --

Data ana|ys|s

uescrlpuve sLausucs, lncludlng correlauons, as well cross-Labulauons and AnCvA were conducLed prlor

Lo conducung loglsuc regresslon analyses, Lo deLermlne Lhe relauons among varlables ln Lhe models and

Lo make Lhe ñnal selecuon of varlables Lo lnclude ln Lhe models. Loglsuc regresslon was used because

Lhe dependenL varlable, reLenuon, ls dlchoLomous (yes/no). Whlle Mlcrosoû Lxcel was used Lo complle

Lhe daLabases, daLa were exporLed Lo oLher programs for analysls. 1he sLausucal packages MlnlLab

(Analysls 1) and SÞSS (Analysls 2) were used Lo run all analyses. All sLausucal LesLs were evaluaLed aL Lhe

o=.03 level.

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

20!

! 21

Resul ts

Ana|ys|s 1 kesu|ts

1he descrlpuve sLausucs (means, sLandard devlauons) for Lhe varlables used ln Lhls analysls are shown ln

1able 1. 1he correlauons beLween Lhe varlables (see Appendlx C) were all posluve and sLausucally

slgnlñcanL aL Lhe p<.001 level. 1he sLrongesL correlauon among Lhe lndlvldual varlables was beLween

Lngllsh achlevemenL and maLh apuLude (r=.31).

nexL, a serles of AnCvAs were conducLed Lo deLermlne lf dlñerences ln academlc achlevemenL exlsLed

among Lhe four famlly lncome and educauon (llL) groups (Appendlx C). Plgh school CÞA was

slgnlñcanLly hlgher for low lncome sLudenLs, regardless of parenL educauon level. 1hls resulL seems Lo

reßecL Lhe known phenomenon LhaL CÞA are hlgher for publlc vs prlvaLe school sLudenLs aL uÞ8M, and

LhaL low lncome sLudenLs are more concenLraLed ln publlc schools lsland-wlde. Lngllsh achlevemenL was

slgnlñcanLly hlgher for hlgh lncome sLudenLs, regardless of parenL educauon level, and Lngllsh

achlevemenL was slgnlñcanLly hlgher for low lncome/conunulng generauon sLudenLs Lhan for low

lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs. College academlc achlevemenL (ñrsL year CÞA) was slgnlñcanLly hlgher

for hlgh lncome/conunulng generauon sLudenLs compared Lo all oLher groups, buL Lhere were no

dlñerences among Lhe oLher 3 groups. 1hese resulLs lndlcaLe LhaL socloeconomlc facLors clearly seem Lo

be a facLor ln college academlc achlevemenL for Lhls sample.

1he loglsuc regresslon model ls shown ln 1able 3. 1hree lndlvldual level facLors were sLausucally

slgnlñcanL for predlcung reLenuon: hlgh school CÞA (z=14.30, p<.001), sLandardlzed maLh apuLude

(z=3.37, p<.01), and famlly lncome and educauon, as expecLed, hlgh-lncome/conunulng generauon

sLudenLs were more llkely Lo perslsL Lo second year Lhan low-lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs (z=4.01,

p<.001). none of Lhe school facLors were slgnlñcanL for predlcung reLenuon.

ll

! 23

1ab|e 3. Loglsuc regresslon analysls of reLenuon from ñrsL Lo second year of college, Analysls 1 (n=3,987)

Þred|ctor 8 SL 8 2 p Cdds kano

Plgh school CÞA 1.30 0.11 14.30 .00 4.49

lndlvldual Lngllsh AchlevemenL -0.00 0.00 -1.02 .31 1.00

lndlvldual MaLh ApuLude 0.00 0.00 3.37 .00 1.00

Þroporuon llrsL Cenerauon (School) -0.01 0.00 -1.67 .10 0.99

Average Lngllsh AchlevemenL (School) 0.00 0.00 0.97 .33 1.00

Low lncome/conunulng generauon

(0=low lncome/ñrsL generauon)

0.12 0.13 0.92 .33 1.13

Plgh lncome/ñrsL generauon

(0=low lncome/ñrsL generauon)

-0.03 0.21 -0.13 .88 0.97

Plgh lncome/conunulng generauon

(0=low lncome/ñrsL generauon)

0.30 0.13 4.01 .00 1.66

Ana|ys|s 2 kesu|ts

Means and sLandard devlauons for Lhe varlables ln Analysls 2 are presenLed ln 1able 2. Þrlor Lo

conducung Lhe loglsuc regresslon analyses, exploraLory cross-Labulauons were conducLed. llrsL, gender

was crossed wlLh ñrsL generauon sLaLus and reLenuon. 1he resulLs lndlcaLed LhaL boLh of Lhese facLors

are noL lndependenL of gender ln Lhe sample. llrsL generauon sLudenLs are more llkely Lo be women

(¿

2

=27.77, p<.001), as are sLudenLs who perslsL Lo Lhe second year of sLudles (¿

2

=22.83, p<.001). 8ased

on Lhese ñndlngs, lL was declded Lo run separaLe regresslon models for men and women Lo see how well

Lhe selecLed facLors predlcL reLenuon based on gender. 1he oLher cross-Labulauons lndlcaLe LhaL

reLenuon sLaLus ls noL lndependenL of ñrsL generauon sLaLus, school Lype, wheLher Lhe moLher was 19 or

younger aL sLudenL's blrLh, and wheLher parenLs are marrled. 1hese resulLs suggesL LhaL Lhe varlables

selecLed for Lhe model are approprlaLe ones for predlcung reLenuon.

1he loglsuc regresslon analyses for men and women are shown ln 1ables 3 and 6. SLandardlzed scores of

Lhe conunuous varlables ln Lhe model, LesL scores, CÞA, lncome, and number of famlly members, were

used Lo ald ln Lhe lnLerpreLauon of odds rauos. lour predlcLors were sLausucally slgnlñcanL ln Lhe

predlcuon of young men's reLenuon ln college - hlgh school CÞA (¿

2

=131.468, p<.001), maLhemaucs

apuLude (¿

2

=3.238, p<.03), Spanlsh apuLude (¿

2

=3.67, p<.03) and school Lype (¿

2

=3.380, p<.03). ?oung

men from prlvaLe schools are 1.27 umes more llkely Lo perslsL Lo Lhe second year of sLudles Lhan Lhose

from publlc schools.

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

24!

1ab|e S. Loglsuc regresslon analysls of men's reLenuon from ñrsL Lo second year of college, Analysls 2

Þred|ctor 8 SL 8

Wa|d's g

2

(67=1) p Cdds kano

Z- lndlvldual Spanlsh ApuLude 0.120 0.062 3.761 .032 1.128

Z -lndlvldual MaLh ApuLude 0.133 0.038 3.238 .022 1.142

Z- lndlvldual Lngllsh AchlevemenL -0.012 0.062 0.036 .830 0.988

Z- Plgh school CÞA 0.367 0.049 131.468 .000 1.764

Z- ÞarenLs' gross lncome 0.042 0.068 0.393 .331 1.043

Z- number of famlly members -0.031 0.062 0.683 .408 0.903

ÞarenL educauon

(0=ñrsL generauon, 1=conunulng

generauon)

-0.037 0.112 0.263 .608 1.039

ÞarenL marlLal sLaLus

(0=marrled, 1=noL marrled)

-0.049 0.129 0.144 .704 0.932

MoLher's age when S born

(0=Leen moLher, 1=noL Leen moLher)

-0.033 0.223 0.023 .874 0.963

School Lype

(0=publlc, 1=prlvaLe)

0.233 0.120 3.380 .030 1.263

1ab|e 6. Loglsuc regresslon analysls of women's reLenuon from ñrsL Lo second year of college, Analysls 2

Þred|ctor 8 SL 8

Wa|d's g

2

(67=1) p Cdds kano

Z- lndlvldual Spanlsh ApuLude 0.113 0.067 2.803 .094 1.119

Z -lndlvldual MaLh ApuLude 0.044 0.067 0.423 .314 1.043

Z- lndlvldual Lngllsh AchlevemenL -0.069 0.068 1.013 .314 0.933

Z- Plgh school CÞA 0.443 0.031 74.634 .000 1.338

Z- ÞarenLs' gross lncome 0.034 0.071 0.230 .631 1.034

Z- number of famlly members -0.102 0.068 2.231 .133 0.903

ÞarenL educauon

(0=ñrsL generauon, 1=conunulng

generauon)

0.233 0.123 3.301 .061 1.263

ÞarenL marlLal sLaLus

(0=marrled, 1=noL marrled)

-0.349 0.134 6.783 .009 0.703

MoLher's age when S born

(0=Leen moLher, 1=noL Leen moLher)

0.379 0.199 3.608 .037 1.460

School Lype

(0=publlc, 1=prlvaLe)

0.310 0.141 4.860 .027 1.364

! 25

1he loglsuc regresslon model Lo predlcL young women's perslsLence ln college showed a sllghLly dlñerenL

pauern of sLausucally slgnlñcanL predlcLors - hlgh school CÞA (¿

2

=74.634, p<.001), parenLs' marlLal sLaLus

(¿

2

=6.783, p<.01), and school Lype (¿

2

=4.860, p<.03). ?oung women whose parenLs are marrled are 1.4

umes more llkely Lo perslsL Lhan Lhose whose parenLs are noL marrled (1/.703). llnally young women

who auended prlvaLe school are 1.3 umes more llkely Lo conunue Lo second year sLudles Lhan young

women who sLudled aL publlc schools.

1he loglsuc regresslon analyses ln Lhls second analysls revealed some gender-based dlñerences ln

academlc preparauon and socloeconomlc facLors LhaL predlcL reLenuon. ?oung men's perslsLence

appears Lo be relaLed Lo academlc preparauon (College 8oard scores, hlgh school CÞA), and auendlng

prlvaLe school, whlle young women's perslsLence ls relaLed Lo hlgh school CÞA, parenLs' marlLal sLaLus,

and prlvaLe school auendance.

ln an exploraLory veln, an addluonal loglsuc regresslon analysls was conducLed, leavlng school Lype ouL

of Lhe model, Lo see lf any of Lhe oLher socloeconomlc facLors would become slgnlñcanL predlcLors. none

of Lhe socloeconomlc facLors were slgnlñcanL predlcLors of men's reLenuon. Powever, ñrsL generauon

sLaLus and wheLher moLher was a Leenage moLher, were sLausucally slgnlñcanL, favorlng young women's

whose famllles have hlgher educauon levels and women whose moLher was over 19 years when she was

born.

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

26!

! 27

Di scussi on

1here ls scarce research avallable on facLors LhaL predlcL college sLudenL reLenuon ln ÞuerLo 8lco.

8eLenuon ls an lmporLanL lndlcaLor of educauonal aualnmenL, as lL approxlmaLes Lhe llkellhood Lo

graduaLe from college. 1hls sLudy lncluded several measures of Lwo facLors ldenuñed ln Lhe research

llLeraLure - socloeconomlc lndlcaLors and academlc preparauon - Lo deLermlne wheLher Lhese facLors

are lmporLanL ln Lhe predlcuon of sLudenL perslsLence.

ln Lhe ñrsL seL of analyses, hlgh school CÞA and maLh apuLude were shown Lo be lmporLanL predlcLors of

sLaylng ln college, as well as Lhe famlly lncome and educauon. 1hese resulLs have parucular lmpllcauons

for pollcy and pracuce aL Lhe uÞ8 and oLher unlverslues ln ÞuerLo 8lco. 8oLh hlgh school CÞA and maLh

apuLude are lncluded ln Lhe admlsslon lndex for uÞ8, Lhus, Lhe resulLs demonsLraLe LhaL Lhose

requlremenLs are approprlaLe ones for admlmng sLudenLs LhaL are mosL llkely Lo compleLe unlverslLy

sLudles. Powever, knowlng LhaL socloeconomlc facLors - parenL educauon and lncome - añecL a

sLudenL's chances of conunulng and compleung unlverslLy sLudles suggesLs LhaL lnsuLuuons musL have

resources and supporLs ln place Lo asslsL Lhose sLudenLs. ln parucular, ñrsL generauon sLudenLs are a

group LhaL lnsuLuuons should LargeL for lmproved and exLended orlenLauon servlces. lL ls ln boLh Lhe

lndlvldual and publlc lnLeresL LhaL Lhe reLenuon and graduauon raLes of our lnsuLuuons lmprove, and

lnsuLuuons musL make consclous eñorLs Lo lmprove reLenuon Lo ñghL lmpresslons LhaL ºsolo los duros

pueden."

1he second seL of analyses were underLaken Lo lncorporaLe several soclal sLrucLural varlables and

deLermlne wheLher Lhese would resulL ln a more sulLable model for predlcung reLenuon. 1he declslon Lo

analyze Lhe models separaLely for men and women was made aûer examlnlng Lhe ñrsL generauon and

reLenuon dlñerences beLween Lhese groups. ConLrary Lo expecLauons, Lhe parenLal lncome varlable

(gross lncome) and Lhe number of famlly members dld noL make slgnlñcanL conLrlbuuons Lo Lhe

predlcuon of reLenuon for elLher men or women. 1he only socloeconomlc varlable LhaL was lmporLanL

for predlcung reLenuon for boLh groups was auendance aL a publlc hlgh school, LhaL ls, LhaL sLudenLs

from publlc schools are less llkely Lo perslsL aL uÞ8M Lhan from prlvaLe schools. Clven LhaL Lhe College

8oard scores for publlc school sLudenLs Lend Lo be lower, Lhls may parually explaln Lhls resulL. Powever,

College 8oard scores were lncluded ln Lhe model, so Lhere are posslbly oLher facLors aL play. Clven LhaL

abouL 60° of Lhe lncomlng sLudenL populauon comes from Lhe publlc secLor, uÞ8M musL do a beuer [ob

of Lrylng Lo undersLand why Lhls ls happenlng and Lo deLermlne how Lo lmprove Lhe reLenuon of Lhese

groups.

1he mosL lnLeresung resulL of Lhe second analysls was lndeed Lhe dlñerences beLween Lhe models for

! 29

men and women, and how famlly background characLerlsucs may añecL Lhem dlñerenLly aL Lhe momenL

of conunulng Lhelr educauon. Addluonal research uslng Lhese daLa should explore oLher comblnauons of

Lhe socloeconomlc varlables, for lndlvlduals, schools, and nelghborhoods - perhaps lncorporaung census

LracL daLa developed ln SLudy #2. 1hese resulLs ralse quesuons abouL how boys and glrls are soclallzed,

and wheLher Lhelr educauonal Lra[ecLorles and mouvauons are slmllar as Lhey asplre Lo compleLe a

college educauon. 8esearch uullzlng daLa from oLher publlc and prlvaLe lnsuLuuons ln ÞuerLo 8lco would

be an lmporLanL nexL sLep Lo undersLand wheLher Lhese ñndlngs are lnsuLuuonally-speclñc, or lndlcauve

of a broader culLural Lrend. Clven LhaL we know LhaL reLenuon raLes Lend Lo be lower for men, lL also

suggesLs LhaL lnsuLuuons should be worklng Lo ñgure ouL whlch young men we are loslng and how Lo

beuer reLaln Lhem, perhaps Lhrough menLorlng programs.

Whlle Lhese resulLs were obLalned from analyses of daLa from a slngle lnsuLuuon ln ÞuerLo 8lco, Lhey

shed llghL on class-based dlñerences ln Lhe experlences of hlgher educauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco. lf oLher

lnsuLuuons are dolng Lhese Lypes of analyses for lnsuLuuonal research purposes, Lhese resulLs should be

shared more wldely so LhaL lnsuLuuons may work LogeLher Lo use llmlLed resources Lo lmprove

educauonal aualnmenL lsland-wlde. lurLher, Lhere should be more baslc daLa avallable for analysls, from

boLh Lhe publlc and prlvaLe hlgher educauon secLors, Lo allow a more comprehenslve analysls of Lhe

eñecLs of socloeconomlc facLors on hlgher educauon aualnmenL ln ÞuerLo 8lco.

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

30!

! 31

Concl usi ons

Þrlor Lo Lhls sLudy, Lhere had been few publlcly avallable sLudles on socloeconomlc facLors and

educauonal aualnmenL ln ÞuerLo 8lco. 1he mosL lmporLanL ñndlngs of Lhe sLudy were as follows:

•

Þrevlous research on socloeconomlc sLrauñcauon of educauonal aualnmenL ln Lhe unlLed SLaLes

and lnLernauonally llnks sLrucLural facLors ln famllles, schools, and nelghborhoods Lo educauonal

aualnmenL. Low-lncome famllles Lend Lo have more resLrlcLed access Lo Lhe forms of soclal

caplLal assoclaLed wlLh hlgher aualnmenL (parenL educauon level, parenL-chlld lnLeracuon, and

lnLeracuons of parenLs and chlldren wlLh school personnel). School quallLy ls an lmporLanL facLor

ln aualnmenL, and low-lncome youLh are also more llkely Lo auend mlddle and hlgh schools LhaL

do noL provlde Lhe academlc preparauon or Lhe ºcollege-golng culLure" en[oyed by Lhelr hlgher

lncome peers.

•

Plgh lncome sLudenLs whose parenLs auended college were slgnlñcanLly more llkely Lo perslsL ln

college Lhan low lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs. 1here were some gender-based dlñerences ln

academlc preparauon and socloeconomlc facLors LhaL predlcL reLenuon among sLudenLs who

apply for ñnanclal ald. ?oung men's perslsLence appears Lo be relaLed Lo academlc preparauon

and publlc school auendance, whlle young women's perslsLence ls relaLed Lo hlgh school CÞA,

parenLs' marlLal sLaLus, and publlc school auendance.

1hese ñndlngs provlde emplrlcal evldence for educauonal aualnmenL lnequlues ln ÞuerLo 8lco, even

among Lhose who enroll ln Lhe mosL selecuve hlgher educauon lnsuLuuon on Lhe lsland, socloeconomlc

and sLrucLural facLors play a role ln wheLher Lhey conunue Lhelr sLudles beyond Lhe ñrsL year.

1he llmlLed avallablllLy of research on hlgher educauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco became apparenL durlng Lhe

course of Lhe sLudy. Whlle we were aware of several dlñerenL research and ouLreach lnluauves, boLh

large and small, across dlñerenL lnsuLuuons ln ÞuerLo 8lco, very llule lnformauon was avallable abouL

Lhe ouLcomes and ñndlngs of Lhls work. Þubllcally avallable research reporLs and peer-revlewed

publlshed research on hlgher educauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco are scarce. Lven Lhe CLSÞ8 research reporLs are

noL publlshed onllne. Also durlng Lhe course of Lhls pro[ecL, ÞuerLo 8lco experlenced Lhe largesL

governmenL layoñ ln hlsLory - over 17,000 employees - and Lhe CLSÞ8 was drasucally downslzed llke

many oLher ÞuerLo 8lcan publlc agencles. ln a ume when llule lnformauon ls avallable Lo undersLand

challenges faclng hlgher educauon ln Þ8, fewer resources are belng allocaLed Lo Lhls eñorL.

! 33

Þo||cy Imp||canons and kecommendanons

Whlle Lhe sLudy was noL deslgned Lo analyze or evaluaLe any parucular sLaLe or lnsuLuuonal pollcles, Lhe

ñndlngs cerLalnly call auenuon Lo areas of pollcy and research focus for hlgher educauon ln ÞuerLo 8lco.

8ased on our experlences and on Lhe ñndlngs of our research, we ldenuñed ñve recommendauons for

publlc governmenL and hlgher educauon lnsuLuuonal leaders.

1. 1he Leg|s|ature and the Þuerto k|co n|gher Lducanon Counc|| (CLSÞk) must foster |ncreased

ava||ab|||ty of bas|c student data to a||ow the ana|ys|s of soc|oeconom|c factors and co||ege

outcomes at the |s|and |eve|. A llmlLauon of Lhe currenL pro[ecL was Lhe sample from a slngle

lnsuLuuon. lnsuLuuonal daLa are slmply noL shared aL Lhe lsland level. lnsuLuuons already com-

plle sLudenL-level daLa Lo comply wlLh Lhe lnsuLuuonal-level federal reporung requlremenLs of

Lhe lnLegraLed ÞosLsecondary uaLa SysLem (lÞLuS) - Lhese daLa could be provlded Lo CLSÞ8,

wlLhouL personal or lnsuLuuonally ldenufylng lnformauon.(

2. A|| students must have access to a "co||ege preparanon" curr|cu|um |n m|dd|e and h|gh schoo|.

1he ñndlngs of Lhls sLudy clearly show LhaL prevlous academlc preparauon ls crlucal for sLudenLs'

success ln college. Þollcles LhaL Lrack cerLaln sLudenLs lnLo less challenglng currlcula aL an early

age dlscourage furLher sLudy, and ln gaps ln sLudenL knowledge whlch become apparenL when

sLudenLs enroll ln unlverslLy-level classes. Whlle noL all sLudenLs wlll wanL Lo auend unlverslLy,

Lhe facL LhaL Lhey are prepared Lo do so would be an advanLage for Lhem, lndlvldually, ln Lhe

labor markeL, and for ÞuerLo 8lco as a nauon, by havlng a well-educaLed publlc.

3. A|| students |n h|gh schoo| must have access to preparanon for Co||ege 8oard tests, as we|| as

equa| opportun|nes to take the tests. Clven Lhe lmporLance of sLandardlzed LesL scores for

sLudenL success ln college, as shown ln Lhe ñndlngs of Lhls sLudy, access Lo LesL preparauon and

opporLunlLy Lo paruclpaLe ln Lhe LesL ls lmperauve Lo lncreaslng socloeconomlc dlverslLy ln Lhe

publlc unlverslLy. 1he College Access Challenge CranL pro[ecL as Lhe unlverslLy of ÞuerLo 8lco has

made lmporLanL sLrldes ln Lhls dlrecuon, by subsldlzlng Lhe cosL of Laklng Lhe LesL for all grade 12

sLudenLs ln 2009.

4. n|gher educanon |nsntunons must deve|op or strengthen eñorts to reta|n |ower SLS students.

uslng lnsuLuuonal research lnfrasLrucLure, lnsuLuuons should focus on sLudylng whlch sLudenLs

are more llkely Lo leave aûer Lhelr ñrsL year, along wlLh Lhe speclñc needs of Lhose sLudenLs for

exLended orlenLauon or academlc supporL. 1hen, resources musL be allocaLed (or re-allocaLed)

Lo eñorLs LhaL wlll promoLe Lhe perslsLence of Lhose sLudenLs mosL llkely Lo leave. Ample evl-

dence on besL pracuces ls avallable ln Lhe llLeraLure - buL lL ls lmporLanL Lo examlne whaL wlll

work ln a parucular lnsuLuuonal conLexL.

3. Iurther research |s necessary to understand the barr|ers to co||ege retennon among |ow |n-

come students |n Þuerto k|co. Lvldence from uÞ8M suggesLs LhaL Lhe aurluon raLes for low ln-

come sLudenLs are Lwlce as hlgh as Lhelr hlgher lncome peers, and Lhe ñndlngs ln Lhe currenL

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

34!

pro[ecL showed LhaL parenL lncome and educauon level play a key role ln predlcung reLenuon.

lurLher research ls needed Lo undersLand whaL barrlers Lhese sLudenLs face, ln conLrasL Lo hlgher

lncome peers, quallLauve research should play an lmporLanL role. ConcepLual frameworks lnclud-

lng soclal and culLural caplLal would also help Lo provlde more Lheoreucal Lools Lo undersLand

educauonal lnequlLy ln Þ8.

Lndnotes

l. 1hls worklng paper lncludes secuons of Lhe pro[ecL reporL ºSocloeconomlc SLrauñcauon of

Lducauonal AualnmenL" wrluen by Lhe paper's auLhor (ur. Sandra ulka) as submlued Lo Lhe

ÞuerLo 8lco Councll of Plgher Lducauon (CLSÞ8) ln !une 2010. 1he co Þrlnclpal lnvesugaLors of

Lhe pro[ecL, urs. 8lma 8rusl and WalLer ulaz, provlded edlLorlal suggesuons.

ll. As a follow up Lo Lhe loglsuc regresslon ln Analysls 1, a sLepwlse regresslon was conducLed Lo

explore how well Lhe lndlvldual and soclal level varlables predlcL achlevemenL ln college.

AchlevemenL was measured uslng ñrsL year CÞA. Alpha Lo enLer and remove varlables was seL

aL .13. Cverall, Lhe model explalned 33° of varlance ln ñrsL year CÞA, lllusLraung Lhe

approprlaLeness of Lhe varlables selecLed. Plgh school CÞA made Lhe sLrongesL conLrlbuuon

(26°), echolng Lhe resulLs of Lhe loglsuc regresslon model for reLenuon. Whlle nelLher of Lhe

school composluon varlables conLrlbuLed Lo Lhe predlcuon of reLenuon, school level Lngllsh

achlevemenL explalned an addluonal 7° of Lhe varlance ln ñrsL year CÞA. 1he oLher facLors LhaL

conLrlbuLed Lo Lhe predlcuon of grades lncluded maLh apuLude, Lngllsh achlevemenL, and famlly

lncome-educauon. Plgh lncome/conunulng generauon sLudenLs had hlgher ñrsL year CÞA Lhan

low lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs, whlle Lhe low lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs had beuer

resulLs Lhan hlgh lncome/ñrsL generauon sLudenLs.

! 35

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22.

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

38!

! 39

Carvajal Working Paper Number 3

Socioeconomic Factors Related to Student Persistence at UPR

40!

Acknow|edgments

1he auLhor acknowledges Lhe conLrlbuuon of ur. uavld Conzález, Þrofessor of lndusLrlal Lnglneerlng aL

uÞ8M, ln Lhe daLa preparauon and analysls for Lhe ñrsL seL of analyses descrlbed ln Lhls secuon. ulka and

Conzález presenLed a prellmlnary verslon of Lhls work aL Lhe 2009 Assoclauon for lnsuLuuonal 8esearch

(Al8) lorum (see references).

As always, any error ln Lhe LexL ls Lhe sole responslblllLy of Lhe auLhor.

1he research presenLed ln Lhls worklng paper was funded by lundaclón Carva[al and Lhe unlverslLy of

ÞuerLo 8lco-Mayaguez.

! 41

Centro Universitario para el Acceso Universidad de Puerto Rico - Mayagüez e centro.accesso@upr.edu w cua.uprm.edu

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