Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project (ICPSR 29841)
Principal Investigator(s): Tienda, Marta, Princeton University; Sullivan, Teresa A., University of Michigan
The research goals of the Baseline survey were to establish a panel of sophomore and senior high school students in the state of Texas that can be followed to examine the decision-making, knowledge and attitudes of students regarding post-high school life course decisions in light of the existence of the Top 10 legislation in Texas. The baseline survey was intended to establish benchmark measures. Follow-up surveys with a subsample of the students will be used to track the evolution of student decision-making about college attendance among those who attend college (full time or part time) immediately after high school graduation as well as those who decide to attend college one or more years after graduation. The Baseline survey objectives called for the collection of 33,000 to 35,000 completed interviews with sophomores and seniors in Texas public high schools using a sample survey design. A probability sample of 100 high schools was desired. Interviews were to be conducted in class using self-administered surveys. This would require district and high school cooperation with the survey effort. Analysis was desired at multiple levels of the education system -- students, schools and districts. Because of the multilevel nature of the analytic goals of the study, a census of sophomores and seniors was desired within the schools that were selected into the survey (to facilitate multilevel analyses). At the student level, analyses were desired separately by racial/ethnic subgroup: non-Hispanic Whites; African Americans; Asians and Hispanics. Moreover, analyses of likely college goers and non-college goers were desired. The Wave 2 Senior Study is the first follow-up with a subsample of baseline seniors. This phase tracks the evolution of student decision-making about college attendance among those who decide to attend college (full or part time) immediately after high school graduation, as well as those who decide to attend college one or more years after graduation. The survey also covers post high school activities including military enlistment, employment, civic activities, high school experiences, life events, self-esteem, and current living status. The following demographic subgroups will be used for comparative analyses: Non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Additionally, separate analyses are desired for students attending college or technical school and students not attending college one year after attending high school. The Sophomore Wave 2 "Stayer Leaver" Survey is the first follow-up with a subsample of baseline sophomores. Most of the respondents were in their senior year of high school at the time of the interview. The focus of the survey is on the student's activities during the senior year and their plans after high school. An important component of this study was to partition the sophomore cohort into Stayers and Leavers. Stayers represent those students who have attended the same high school from the baseline survey in 2002 to the Wave 2 survey in 2004. Analysis of students who stayed at the same high school will determine whether students' knowledge of the Top 10 Percent law increased and whether they changed their college aspirations as they progressed through school. Leavers are those students that have changed schools or dropped out (and did not return to the same high school) between the baseline survey and the Wave 2 survey. Analysis of the leaver students will determine whether, how many, and which students deliberately changed schools in order to qualify for the benefits of the Top 10 Percent law. Students that had dropped out of school, regardless of whether they returned to school or not, were asked a series of questions that explored reasons for dropping out and activities during their time away from school. Students that dropped out, but then returned to the same high school are defined as Stayers. Those that dropped out and did not return to school, or attended a different school, are defined as Leavers. The Senior Wave 3 survey is the second follow-up interview with the subsample of 8,345 baseline seniors. The Wave 3 survey sought to determine students' educational pursuits and levels of attainment, and other life choices, four years after high school graduation. For students following a four-year path through college or university, graduation would occur in 2006, but a special strength of Wave 3 is its ability to identify delayed college entry; transfers among post-secondary institutions, including transfers to and from community colleges; withdrawal from college; and variation in school-to-work trajectories for students according to class rank. The THEOP administrative data consists of college applications and enrollee college transcripts obtained from nine Texas universities--seven public and two private institutions. For the public institutions, freshman Application Data spans several years prior to the implementation of the Texas Top 10 Percent law in 1998, and extends until at least 2002. Application Data for the two private institutions is available only for the period after implementation of the automatic admission law.
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Tienda, Marta, and Teresa A. Sullivan. Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project. ICPSR29841-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-06-02. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29841.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR29841.v1
This study was funded by:
- Spencer Foundation
- Ford Foundation
- Hewlett Foundation
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- National Science Foundation
- Princeton University
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: academic ability, academic achievement, academic degrees, academic standards, admissions policies, Affirmative Action, college students, demographic characteristics, education, educational environment, educational opportunities, educational populations, educational system, ethnic discrimination, ethnic groups, ethnic tensions, ethnicity, high school graduates, high school students, higher education, Hispanic or Latino Americans, public policy, qualifications, race, race relations, racial discrimination, students, universities
Smallest Geographic Unit: state
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: student, school, district
Universe: All seniors and sophomores attending public high schools in the state of Texas in the Spring of 2002.
Data Types: administrative records data, survey data
Data Collection Notes:
Additional information about the Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project (THEOP) can be found on the THEOP Web site.
STATA USERS: The Stata files for this data collection were provided directly by the Principal Investigator. The associated codebooks are listed as "Documentation -- pdf" on the Browse Documentation link on the data download page.
Study Purpose: The research goals of the Baseline survey are to establish a panel of sophomore and senior high school students in the state of Texas that can be followed to examine the decision making, knowledge and attitudes of students regarding post high school life course decisions in light of the existence of the Top 10 legislation in Texas. The baseline survey was intended to establish benchmark measures. Follow-up surveys with a subsample of the students will be used to track the evolution of student decision making about college attendance among those who attend college (full time or part time) immediately after high school graduation as well as those who decide to attend college one or more years after graduation.
Study Design: The project's approach to fielding the study involved a four-phase protocol:(1) contacting the districts of the sample schools to secure permission to contact the school; (2) after securing district approval, contacting the school principal to secure participation in the survey; (3) arranging dates and times for field staff to visit the school for in class survey administration; and (4) implementing a mail survey for some of the schools that refused in-class participation but permitted mail surveys. Upon receiving an agreement to participate in the study, the project staff secured a point-of-contact at the school and began preparations for conducting the survey. The designated school contacts varied from school to school, and included the principal, the vice principal, registrar, counselors, technology coordinators, teachers, and administrative assistants. Project staff elicited information about the specific school's academic calendar. This information was used to schedule the days required for conducting the survey. The lists were used to prepare teacher/class specific packets of parental consent forms. A survey operations center was established in each school. Teachers were instructed to report to the staging area a half hour prior to the commencement of classes. The project staff then conducted a training session to instruct teachers on in-class survey protocols. Students were given 30-45 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
NOTE ABOUT STUDY POPULATION: The Texas A&M University Application Data represent the entire population of fall and summer first-time freshmen applicants to Texas A&M University between 1992 and 2002. However, the observations are not full representations of applications in that they do not include high school course-taking information, essays, or indications of whether application fees were received. The Texas A&M University Transcript Data represent college transcript information from 1992 to 2007 for all students who enrolled at Texas A&M University as fall or summer first-time freshmen between 1992 and 2002. The University of Texas-Austin Application Data represent the entire population of fall and summer first-time freshman applicants to the University of Texas-Austin between 1992 and 2003. However, the observations are not full representations of applications in that they do not include high school course-taking information, essays, or indications of whether application fees were received. University of Texas-Austin Transcript Data represent college transcript information from 1992 to 2005 for all students who enrolled at the University of Texas-Austin as fall or summer first-time freshmen between 1992 and 2003.
Frame: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) data base of all Texas public high schools was used to create the sampling frame for the selection of high schools. The following school types were deemed ineligible: very small high schools (with senior enrollments of 10 or fewer); charter schools; and schools totally devoted to special education. After eliminating ineligible schools, the sample frame contained 1,258. Stratification: Because the survey focused heavily on student decision making about college and more generally about post-high school life, it was important to stratify on variables that would be associated with these constructs. Two stage probability sample: The sample design for the Baseline survey involved a two-stage probability sample of public high school seniors and sophomores in the State of Texas. At the second stage of selection, all seniors and all sophomores were selected for the survey. In essence, a census of sophomores and seniors was taken within high schools.
Weight: There are two different sets of weights: a sampling weight and a post-stratification adjustment that corrects for student level and school level nonresponse.
Mode of Data Collection: record abstracts, mail questionnaire, on-site questionnaire
Response Rates: The overall response rate was calculated to be 72 percent for the total study.
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Standardized missing values.
- Created online analysis version with question text.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2011-06-02
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