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Researchers and Policymakers
Goals of the Study
The goal of the study is to inform policymakers, program practitioners, students and potential funders about the educational trajectories of Transition Program participants, how the Transition Program influenced those trajectories, and what the outcomes of participating in the Transition Program are for postsecondary academic success, labor market gains, and educational planning for students’ children.
1. What are the outcomes for students who participate in the ABE-to-College Transition Project?
ATLAS followed a sample of 226 adults who enrolled in the ABE-to-College Transitions Project between September 2007 and May 2008, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data about their transition and postsecondary educational experiences and outcomes. The research was be conducted by a team of faculty and graduate students at the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
ATLAS surveys were implemented each year as follows:
The study employed a mixed-method design, using both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data focused on individual’s demographic and program participation characteristics, college experience, and labor market outcomes. The qualitative data focused on who students are, differences in how well the Transition Programs prepared them to enroll and succeed in college, why students do and don’t persist in the program and in college, and how variables in students’ lives, college and work experience affected their educational and labor market outcomes, as well as outcomes for them as parents-as-first-teachers and other unanticipated outcomes.
The goal is to identify common trajectories and variables contributing to college success, and to develop student profiles matching these. Along with the quantitative data about outcomes, these profiles can then be used by Transition Program staff to identify adult students who may be more likely to be at risk of dropping out of the transition course, and then to improve the program by adopting strategies that reduce the barriers to success. The analysis will also provide information for policy makers about the benefits of Transition Programs for non-traditional adult students.
ATLAS also employed a three-sample design to collect increasingly in-depth information from sub-samples of participating adult students, in order to maximize the efficiency of both the quantitative and qualitative data collected.Return to top of page.
The following are our working hypotheses regarding participants' motivations, supports and hindrances in trying to attend and succeed in college:
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