Silicon Valley Notebook


As global competition intensifies; college education has become a necessary tool for young adults to succeed. In this study, a mixed method approach was used (the NLSY survey, supplemented with qualitative interviews of seven education professionals) to identify the supportive resources needed by young adults to overcome the risks they faced as they aspired to complete high school and actualized their college aspirations. High school experiences and aspirations did not hinder youth from their later educational achievements. Rather, it was the social and cultural resources available in their post high school lives that mattered in actualizing their college aspirations. That the support available later in their lives as young adults were the most influential in their educational accomplishments supported the predictions of social-capital theories in shaping flexible (Chicago School) academic self-concepts of youth and contributed to the sociology of higher education. While contributing to the scholarship on higher education, the research also underscored the need for the continued support needed by young adults as they pursue their educational goals.