Breaking Through the Access Barrier: How Academic Capital Formation Can Improve Policy in Higher Education

1st Edition

Edward P. St. John, Shouping Hu, Amy S. Fisher

Published October 12, 2010
Reference - 296 Pages - 10 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415800334 - CAT# Y100685

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Breaking Through the Access Barrier argues that the policies designed to address inequalities in college access are failing to address underlying issues of inequality. This book introduces academic capital formation (ACF), a groundbreaking new theory defined by family knowledge of educational options and the opportunities for pursuing them. The authors suggest focusing on intervention programs and public policy to promote improvement in academic preparation, college information, and student aid.

This textbook offers:

  • a new construct–academic capital–that integrates and draws upon existing literature on influencing access to college
  • practical advice for better preparation and intervention
  • real student outcomes, databases, and interviews taken from exemplary intervention programs
  • empirical research illuminating the role of class reproduction in education and how interventions (financial, academic, and networking) can reduce student barriers
  • quantitative and qualitative analysis of the importance and effectiveness of several major policy interventions.

Written for courses on higher education policy and policy analysis, readers will find Breaking Through the Access Barrier offers valuable advice for working within new policy frameworks and reshaping the future of educational opportunities and access for under-represented students from disadvantaged backgrounds.


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