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Research & Resources

High School to College Transition Policies in the States: Conceptual and Analytical Perspectives On

Stephanie Lee Steele, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education, Hendersonville

April 1, 2009 - Publication

Abstract Researchers have paid scant attention to the opportunities and the barriers associated with across-state study of college-transition policies, although the American states comprise a social system especially well suited for comparative analysis. What sorts of questions should researchers ask about college-transition policies and programs? How might these questions be framed conceptually? What data are and are not generally available to researchers? This article examines these questions.

Because relatively little comparative-state research on college-transition policies exists, the emphasis is on describing the contemporary policy landscape, identifying broad questions with which to anchor future study, and discussing potential data sources and analytic approaches. The authors argue that researchers should begin asking more empirically oriented questions about both the determinants and the effects of college-transition policies in the states. They contend that both avenues of inquiry pose distinct data and analytic challenges. (2009)

McLendon, Michael K., Heller, Don E., Lee, Stephanie. (March, 2009). High school to college transition policies in the states: Conceptual and analytical perspectives on conducting across-state study. Journal of Educational Policy, 23(2), 385-418.

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