From High School to College: Gender, Race-Ethnicity, Immigrant Generation
Over 75 percent of American high school seniors aspire to graduate from college, but only one-third of Americans hold a bachelor’s degree. In his recent book, From High School to College, Charles Hirschman addresses this anomaly with a focus on explaining ethnic, immigrant generation, and gender disparities. Hirschman finds only modest differences between groups in their aspirations to attend and complete college, but much wider inequality in college completion. For example, 35 percent of white students graduated from college within seven years of completing high school, compared to only 19 percent of black students and 18 percent of Hispanic students. Students’ socioeconomic origins—including parental education and employment, home ownership, and family structure—account for most of the college graduation gap between disadvantaged minorities and white students. Further, while a few Asian ethnic groups have achieved college completion rates on par with whites, such as Chinese and Koreans, others, whose socioeconomic origins more resemble those of black and Hispanic students, such as Filipinos and Cambodians, also lag behind in preparedness, enrollment, and graduation from college.
Professor Charles Hirschman is currently Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He retired as Boeing International Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in September 2017. Although formally retired, he continues to conduct research, mentor students, and to participate in professional and service organizations. He has been elected President of the Population Association of America (2005), Chair of Section K (Social, Economic, and Political Sciences) of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (2004-05), and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His teaching and research focus on demography, immigration and ethnicity, and in the United States and Southeast Asia. He has authored or edited four books (most recently, From High School to College: Immigrant Generation, and Race- Ethnicity, Russell Sage, 2016), more than 125 articles/book chapters, and 50 book reviews/comments.