Advancing Educational Equity: Does K-12 Outreach Participation Affect College Success?
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Findings revealed that both academic and social benefits from participating in the outreach program continued through the college years. Academic Benefits: Developing navigational capital. Students gained navigational capital by understanding the need for efficient time management, effective study skills, and indicated the helpfulness of group study skills which was emphasized in the program. Students mentioned their high level of preparation in advanced placement (AP) courses due in part to the program and then reaping the college benefits of having been successful on AP examinations (i.e. passing out of course requirements, being eligible for more advanced courses). Social Benefits: Peer cultural wealth as resistant capital. Interviews during the 1st year of college revealed that all students in the study had developed weak ties (Granovetter, 1973), friendships with acquaintances that are often more important than strong ties or core friendships, with other outreach peers at the start of college. However, these relationships evolved throughout students 2nd-4th years in college, in no discerning pattern. Strengthening the pipeline: Building resistant and navigational capitals. Once in college, all students developed a stronger awareness of educational inequities in their communities. Furthermore, all students in the sample translated this awareness into action by volunteering or working with an outreach-esque program to improve access to college. Four students worked over 10 hours a week for outreach programs, including one student who worked 20+ hours a week during her entire four years in college.