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Portrait of Anna Liuzzo in her school classroom.

Published November 20, 2018

Understanding the college experiences of Buffalo Prep alumni

Analyzing postsecondary experiences and social supports

Megan Holland, research assistant professor from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, is partnering with a local nonprofit that provides a college preparatory pipeline program for traditionally underrepresented students to analyze alumni data to better understand the experiences of their alumni, including the impact of the supports they receive in college. The collaboration is part of the UB Graduate School of Education Faculty in Residence Program.

The goals of this project are: (1) to understand the academic and social experiences of alumni who attend college after they leave high school; (2) to compare the college experiences of alumni who attend different types of postsecondary institutions; and (3) to understand how alumni perceive the social supports they receive in college and how they make use of those supports.

Holland is interviewing alumni of the program and conducting observations during the nonprofit’s college enrichment programs. She is analyzing her interview and observation data, along with data gathered through surveys and from the National Student Clearinghouse, to gain a better understanding of alumni experiences.

“Questions remain about how students who attend private high schools during the day, but return to high poverty neighborhoods at night, fare, and how their experiences translate on non-elite college campuses,” said Holland. “This study will add to our understanding of the experiences of underrepresented students in college.”

The Faculty in Residence Program is an initiative designed to engage GSE faculty and local community-based educational institutions in site-based, mutually beneficial research-based projects. Projects must demonstrate clear benefits to the community and may include a wide-range of researchable topics.

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