Research

Early Experience Predictors Of Latino Students' High School Completion, Including Variations By Gender

Principal Investigator: Estela Zarate

Funder: Council on Research Computing and Libraries (CORCL) Grant

Background

Existing analyses of predictors of high school and post-high school outcomes for Latino students have primarily relied on identifying “risk” indicators as far back as 8th grade. Lack of longitudinal data with adequate representation of Latinos has limited researchers' understanding of how early schooling experiences impact academic and economic outcomes much later.

Methodology

Taking advantage of a 15-year longitudinal study of 121 Latino families in Southern California, Dr. Zarate is studying how early experiences predict high school completion and how these predictors vary by gender. The dataset, which offers incomparably rich data, allows for investigating previously unexamined indicators of Latinos’ educational experiences, such as early literacy and language experiences and more nuanced measures of family socioeconomic status.

Implications

The findings not only will have implications for the design of intervention programs, but also will provide a framework for a future study that will seek to reconnect with this sample and examine how schooling experiences influenced college completion or economic status, ten years later.