Rodriguez, Awilda

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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Apples and Oranges: Comparing the Backgrounds and Academic Trajectories of International Baccalaureate (IB) Students to a Matched Comparison Group
    (2013-08-01) Rodriguez, Awilda; Sirinides, Philip M; Perna, Laura W.; May, Henry; Ransom, Tafaya S; Yee, April L
    This report presents findings from a retrospective study of the academic histories of International Baccalaureate (IB) students and other students in the state of Florida. The IB Diploma Program is an internationally recognized college-preparatory curriculum designed to provide students with a rigorous and comprehensive academic experience. IB has grown dramatically in recent years and is thought by many to be among the best college-preparatory programs in existence. As such, there is tremendous interest in the potential impacts of IB, but any attempts to examine those impacts must deal with selection bias that results from the voluntary participation of schools and students. Failure to do so makes it impossible to determine whether the performance of participating students was actually influenced by IB, or whether the outcomes for these students would have been just as good without IB. As a critical step in understanding the impacts of IB, the analyses presented in this report examined the selection mechanisms behind IB participation across Florida, the state with the second highest representation of IB programs in the nation. We use longitudinal student and school-level data from 1995 through 2009 from the Florida K-20 Education Data Warehouse (EDW) to characterize individual students’ educational histories from elementary school through high school and into college. To address issues of selection bias, we use propensity score methods (Rosenbaum & Rubin, 1983) to adjust for preexisting differences between IB and non-IB students.
  • Publication
    Unpacking the Black Box: Estimating the High School-Level Effects of Undermatching Among Underrepresented Students
    (2013-01-01) Rodriguez, Awilda
    Recent studies have revealed how large shares of college-ready students undermatch, or enroll in colleges with less competitive admissions processes than they are eligible to attend. Undermatch sits at the nexus of both college access and completion agendas, as undermatching to a less selective institution results in a decreased likelihood of graduating from college. Latino, low-income, and potential first generation college graduates are more likely to undermatch than their nonunderrepresented peers. Many underrepresented students rely on their high schools to help navigate the college choice process, yet we have a limited understanding of how high school characteristics can inhibit or promote the likelihood of undermatch. This study used ELS:2002 data to model within the HGLM framework the likelihood of undermatch. In order to explain the observed variations in undermatch at the high school-level, I measured high school-level predictors in two distinct ways: confirmatory factor analysis to identify individual high school-level measures of college-promoting resources and norms; as well as latent class analysis to create a typology of high school contexts. Findings suggest that students who attend high schools with above average, rather than average, college-promoting resources and norms are less likely to undermatch at the time of application and enrollment, after controlling for student-, school-, and state-level characteristics. Net of other variables, students who were not high income and whose parents did not have a bachelor's degree were more likely to undermatch than their peers. Smaller shares of Black, Latino, low-income, and first-generation students were eligible to attend selective institutions, larger shares undermatched by qualification level, and larger shares were in low-resourced high schools. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.