One Size Does Not Fit All: Variation in English Learners’ Programmatic Experiences and Postsecondary Trajectories

Date

2024-01-15

Authors

Schudde, Lauren
Callahan, Rebecca
Kwon, Yujin
Pack-Cosme, Kimberly

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Abstract

Although students who have ever been identified as English learners (ever-ELs) during K–12 comprise a growing share of the population, the transient nature of K–12 English Learner (EL) status and services makes it difficult for researchers to follow their educational pipeline. Ever-ELs’ backgrounds and experiences vary considerably, with differences in grade of entry into the U.S. school system, duration in EL status, and, for some, waiving out of English language development services. We use longitudinal state administrative data with repeated measures of EL status to examine the college entrance; college type; and early, intermediate, and long-term college outcomes of Spanish-speaking ever-EL students in Texas. By linking K–12, postsecondary, and workforce data, we control for differences in students’ demographic and academic characteristics and examine the association between their EL programmatic experiences and postsecondary outcomes. Our results offer new insights into the postsecondary trajectories of ever-EL high-school seniors.

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