Choosing Colleges: How Social Class and Schools Structure Opportunity

Choosing Colleges: How Social Class and Schools Structure Opportunity

by Patricia M. McDonough
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0791434788

ISBN-13: 9780791434789

Pub. Date: 11/13/1997

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Examines the everyday experiences of high school seniors as they choose their colleges and demonstrates that college choice is a more complex social and organizational reality than has been previously understood.

Based on interviews with students, parents, and counselors as well as case studies of the college guidance environments of a working-class public school,

Overview

Examines the everyday experiences of high school seniors as they choose their colleges and demonstrates that college choice is a more complex social and organizational reality than has been previously understood.

Based on interviews with students, parents, and counselors as well as case studies of the college guidance environments of a working-class public school, an upper-middle-class public school, a private preparatory school, and a Catholic school, McDonough examines the everyday experiences of high school seniors as they choose their colleges. The author shows that college choice is a more complex social and organizational reality than has been previously understood and shows how families and schools mutually influence individual student outcomes and our higher education opportunity structure.

After half a century of increasing federal, state, and private investments in higher education, phenomenal growth in the number of colleges, and enrollments of almost fifteen million students, Choosing Colleges asks why it is that there are vast differentials in college access. McDonough addresses access and equity issues by documenting how student college-choice decision making is influenced by colleges, high schools, parents, friends, and the media.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791434789
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
11/13/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
186
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables

Acknowledgments

1. Who Goes Where to College?

Patterns of Educational Attainment
College Choice Research
Status Attainment Literature
School Effects Literature
Theoretical Framework
Significance of the Study
Organization of the Book
Research Methodology
Limitiations

2. So Many Ways to Choose a College

Paloma Young Women
The Women of Gate of Heaven High School
University High School's Women
The Women of Mission Cerrito High School

3. Four High Schools, Four Social Worlds

Paloma School
Gate of Heaven High School
University High School
Mission Cerrito High School

4. A Cross-Case Analysis of High School Guidance

Overview Guidance Structure and Outcomes
Organizational Mission and Curriculum
Assumptions of Students' College Knowledge
Counselor Role Expectations
Summary of Actual and Normative Structure of College Advising
Organizational Habitus

5. Families, Friends, and Finances As Influences

Choosing a Private High School
Choosing a Private College Counselor
Family Involvement in College Choice Decision Making

Levels of Involvement
Geographical Influences
College Visits

Friends
Finances

High SES Students and College Finances
Low SES Students and College Finances
Job As Influence

Conclusions

6. College Choice in a Cultural Context

Findings
Implications

Policy: Cultural and Organizational Equality of Opportunity
Theory and Scholarship

Bibliography

Index

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