Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

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Dr. Tanja Link publishes a new article entitled: "Misalignment of Career and Educational Aspirations in Middle School: Differences across Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status"

Misalignment of educational and career goals (i.e., educational aspirations expressed are inadequate for attaining one’s desired occupation) is associated with lower educational attainment and a lack of college readiness, and may contribute to persistent educational and employment disparities. Drawing on data from 249 sixth graders in low-income schools, this research examines misalignment between educational and career aspirations across racial and ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Findings indicate that students in low-income schools aspire to middle and upper middle class careers, but sometimes lack an understanding of the educational degrees required to achieve their goals. We discuss the programmatic implications of these findings in light of the elevated college and career planning needs of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. PDF Version:

Posted: July 28, 2016