In general, the higher the level of mathematics and science course sequences in high school, the more likely acceptance and attendance at 4 year colleges of higher selectivity. Mathematics/science course sequences and student degree aspirations (factors under the control of the student) have strong positive relationships to college acceptance and attendance when controlling for the negative effects of low parental education and high school economic disadvantage. Students are more likely to attend colleges of lower selectivity than that of the highest ranked college that selected them. There are group differences in course taking, college acceptance and attendance across selectivity levels by race/ethnicity but not by gender. Black students with similar qualifications to their White classmates are not as likely to be accepted by or attend more selective colleges while they are more likely than White classmates to attend least or less selective colleges. Hispanic students are likely to be accepted and attend colleges of similar selectivity to White students in this data; however, a large percentage of Hispanic students opt to go to two year colleges that are not counted in the US News and World Report selectivity rankings. Once attending college, high school course sequence levels across students are very similar. In the Texas data, the probability of majoring in mathematics/science and teaching those subjects is no longer stratified by race/ethnicity but by gender. Females are 1.5 times as likely to major in mathematics and 1.8 times as likely to teach mathematics and science compared to males although they have identical educational aspirations and high school course sequences.
Wallace, Marjorie R., Maier, K., Lo, Y., Kim, W. (Rev. May 2009).Quality and Equality on the Pathway to Teaching in Texas. Presented at 2008 Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project (THEOP) Data Workshop, Princeton, NJ.