Study That Algebra!


What makes a community college student focused enough to stay in school and finish?

Apparently being poor makes a student more directed, as does having at least one parent who attended some college.  Completing a higher form of algebra while still in high school is also a characteristic of sufficiently directed students.

These are some of the findings of a new study titled On Track To Complete: A Taxonomy of Beginning Community College Students and Their Outcomes 3 Years After Enrolling.

The study, published by the National Center for Education Statistics within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, deals with the characteristics and outcomes of students classified as “strongly directed,” “moderately directed” and “not directed.”

The study found that strongly directed students were more likely than not directed students to be low income but less likely to be from families in which neither parent had achieved any postsecondary education.” (The study found that 39 percent of students whose parents never went to college were strongly directed, whereas 55 percent of students whose parents never went to college were not directed.)

Study results also show that a higher percentage of students designated as strongly directed completed mathematics courses beyond algebra 2 than moderately directed

students (38 percent versus 31 percent).

The study didn’t deal with implications, but maybe the lesson for youth advocates is when it comes to working with youths whose parents never went to college, do what a college-educated parent would do on their behalf, be it providing advice or support.




Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top