The primary purpose of this study was to examine differences in the school characteristics and experiences of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American youth in rural high schools as well as their relation to educational aspirations. We also investigated the characteristics and experiences of students and their families given that these are important in rural youths’ preparation for the transition to adulthood. Data were from the Rural High School Aspirations Study, which collected surveys from 6,150 youth across the country attending a high school designated as rural or small town during the 2007–2008 school year. Descriptive analyses demonstrated there were differences in the school characteristics and experiences of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American youth in rural areas. Regression analyses also showed variations in the predictors of educational aspirations across different racial/ethnic groups of students attending rural high schools. The results demonstrate that there are differences in the school characteristics and experiences as well as their relation to educational aspirations that may have important implications as African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American youth in rural high schools prepare for the transition to adulthood. The discussion includes additional findings, implications, limitations, and directions for future research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences Grant (R305A04056) awarded to the National Research Center on Rural Education Support at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agency
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