A Postsecondary Transition Model for Low-Income, Minority Youth in Philadelphia

Alexis T. Brown, Walden University


School administrators are in the best position, but often lack the knowledge, to help low-income, minority youth transition to college. Consequently, some youth are not meeting their full potential and there are long-term, deleterious consequences on local economies as wage earning potential stagnates. Using Aslanargun's, Farmer-Hinton's, and Foster's frameworks of school administrator values, the purpose of this case study is to better understand how administrators can support youth transition to college. Data were collected through interviews with 26 current students, high school graduates, and current or former administrators from a single school district in Pennsylvania. These data were deductively coded and then organized around 4 themes consistent with the theoretical framework. Findings suggested four topical areas that served as the components of the transition model and basis for developing recommended school-level policies (a) learn: students need to learn their options for paying for college, experience a college day, understand different options for attending college, and experience college lessons (b) support: to relieve students' fears, motivate and encourage them that college is possible, and focus on 9th graders (c) influence: by identifying individuals that impress students to attend college, and (d) implement: expose students to college lessons, design a system for counselors to meet with all students, engage students in the process and assign students to AP classes. Implications for positive social change are that the number of low-income youth that may have access to higher learning and transition to college may increase as a result of strategic assistance from public high school administrators.