ITP | Exploring and Understanding English Learners’ College Pathways: EL Educational Research as It Informs and is Informed by Policy and Practice

December 2, 2022, Noon-1:30 pm Central Time

259 Educational Sciences and Zoom

Rebecca Callahan

Professor, University of Vermont

Rebecca Callahan

A postsecondary credential is increasingly essential for middle-class employment in the U.S. context (Pellegrino, et al., 2013), yet preparation for and enrollment in college remain largely stratified along demographic lines (Black et al., 2020; NCES, 2016). In the current study, we explore the postsecondary preparation and engagement of one of the fastest growing U.S. school populations, English Learner (EL) students, focusing on how their involvement with two potential levers of postsecondary access and enrollment, advanced math course taking and dual enrollment informs their postsecondary outcomes. Historically, research on EL students’ college-going has examined the experiences and outcomes of students identified as EL during high school; we use state-level administrative data to capture the broader population of all students who were identified for EL-services in kindergarten, regardless of their placement during high school. Preliminary analyses of Texas administrative data show that nearly a quarter of Texas K-12 public school students were EL-identified for at least part of their K-12 career. Using multilevel regression models, we find that advanced math coursework and dual-enrollment are both positively associated with initial EL students’ postsecondary outcomes, but in different, and somewhat limited, ways that have implications for EL programs, policy, and practice.

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