CARA conducts research on critical issues in the fields of higher education access and success. We use quantitative, qualitative, and participatory research approaches to elevate issues of educational justice in the communities where we work.
Our goals are to:
- Build on the partnerships we have with educational institutions to conduct research that is grounded in practice,
- Contribute generalizable knowledge about the social forces that create and perpetuate educational inequity,
- Contribute to the field by producing research that moves researchers and practitioners towards solutions.
How do public high schools develop a college-going culture that promotes equity in college access for traditionally underserved students? CARA has developed a conceptual framework that bridges theory to practice by concretizing the role of schools as organizational institutional agents in the college planning and application process. We apply this framework to characterize how college-going culture takes root at seven non-selective public high schools in New York City where we conducted ethnographic research amidst a city-wide “college for all” policy shift. This research brings into focus the types of cultural capital schools can deliver as organizational entities that do not reproduce social inequality in post-secondary access.
Supported by a First in the World grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), a group of colleges are investigating how college campus-community engagement transforms students’ college experience and the culture higher education institutions.
CARA is tracking how serving as a peer leader in the College Bridge or College Allies programs impact peer leaders’ college success outcomes at the City University of New York (CUNY). Contrasted against propensity-matched comparison groups of students, CARA has found significantly higher one-year persistence rates for peer leaders, particularly those who are low-income, Black, and/or Latino/a.
McCallen, L.S. & Johnson, H.L. (2019). The role of institutional agents in promoting higher education success among first-generation college students at a public urban university. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.
Hachey, V.K. & McCallen, L.S. (2018). Perceptions of campus climate and sense of belonging among non-immigrant, first-generation, and second-generation students at public research universities. In K. Soria (Ed.), Evaluating Campus Climate at U.S. Research Universities: Opportunities for Diversity and Inclusion. New York, New York: Springer.
Bloom, J. (2012). Willie Rivera Thoughts: Critical Small Schools and the Transition to Higher Education. In M. Hantzopolous and A. Tyner (Eds.) Critical Small Schools: Beyond Privatization in New York City Urban Educational Reform. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Chajet, L. (Spring, 2011). We Are All In It Together: The Role of Youth Leadership in College Access.Voices in Urban Education. Providence, RI: Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.
Bloom, J. (2008). The Pedagogy of College Access Programs: A Critical Analysis ASHE/Lumina Critical Essay Series.
Bloom, J. (2007). “(Mis)Reading Social Class in the Journey Towards College: Youth Development in Urban America.” Teachers College Record 109(2), 343-368.
Bloom, J. (2005). Hollowing the Promise of Higher Education: Inside the Political Economy of Access to College. In L. Weis and M. Fine (Eds.), Beyond Silenced Voices: Race, Class and Gender in United States Schools. Albany: State University of New York Press.