Kim, J., & Joo, M. (2013). Trend in U.S.-Born Dropouts’ GED and Postsecondary Degree Acquisition: Differences by Gender and Race/Ethnicity. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research,4(3), 171-181.
Despite the economic and social costs of school drop-out, little is known about the rate and trend in dropouts’ transitions toward educational attainment through acquisition of General Education Development (GED) certificates and postsecondary degrees. Using the 2004 and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation, we identify 3 cohorts of U.S.-born dropouts (N = 6,559) who left school during the 1961–1970, 1971–1980, or 1981–1990 timeframes. We then use variables for gender and race/ethnicity to examine trends in the likelihood of these school dropouts obtaining (a) a GED credential within 7 years of dropping out and (b) a postsecondary degree within 14 years of dropping out. The likelihood of GED acquisition shows an upward trend for all racial/ethnic groups. However, an upward trend in the likelihood of attaining a postsecondary degree emerges among White and African American dropouts, but not among Hispanics. Further, the upward trends for both GED and postsecondary degree attainment are concentrated among female dropouts. Findings imply that post-dropout interventions should be geared toward male and minority dropouts.
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