Paving the Way: K-16 Partnerships for Higher Education Diversity and High School

Investigator: Thad Domina

Graduate Student Researcher: Erik Ruzek

Funding: UCI Council on Research, Computing, and Library Resources

In the decade since California banned affirmative action in public university admissions, the University of California has designed and administered dozens of school outreach programs. These partnerships were designed to improve diversity on UC campuses by reforming the low-performing high schools that educate disproportionate numbers of the state's poor and minority students. In this mixed-methods study, we evaluated the extent to which these outreach programs have succeeded. The project inventoried the high school outreach programs that have been launched in the last decade out of the University of California, Irvine. These data then were applied to school-level data describing southern California public high schools over the 1990-2007 period. Using multivariate panel data analysis techniques, we examined the effects that UCI's outreach programs have had on college applicant and enrollment patterns as well as high school quality (as measured by schools' rates of attendance, graduation, and honors/AP/IB course taking, as well as API scores) and identified the characteristics of effective school outreach programs.