SURF

Katherine Zepeda-Arreola

Are We Understanding College Predispositions in Oakland Youth? A Case Study of College Track

The disparity in earnings between students with and without a college degree has been growing for the past twenty-five years, and has become pivotal in determining the future stability of the nations youth. Through this research project, I will explore the college predispositions of low-income students of color recently accepted in College Track, an after school college preparatory program in Oakland. By focusing on three elements of the program: the college-focused activities, the extracurricular/supplemental opportunities, and the staff, I aim to understand the motivations that lead rising 9th graders to apply to the program. Through this project I will provide a better understanding of how to best assist students who want to go to college but do not have the means to do so on their own. Simultaneously, I will investigate students expectations of after school program along with their college predispositions to influence the way after school programs are catered towards youth.

Message to Sponsor

This fellowship allows me to develop my career interests by conducting an independent research project on my own with goals of contributing valuable data to the current literature that exist about after-school programs and Oakland youth. My goals are to go to graduate school and work with students in the future. This project is the stepping-stone to future research that I plan to do to target the issue of the achievement gap among students of color. Thanks to this fellowship, I have a place to begin work that I know will prepare me for a career in pushing youth forward onto a postsecondary education.
  • Major: Social Welfare, African American Studies (minor)
  • Sponsor: Wishek Fund
  • Mentor: Lisa Garca Bedolla, Graduate School of Education