Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology & Research

Committee Chair

Leigh Harrell-Williams

Committee Member

Eli A. Jones

Committee Member

Karen W. Kitchens

Committee Member

Vicki S. Murrell


Large urban school districts, especially those with high concentrations of minority and economically disadvantaged students, have high rates of nonstructural student mobility (nonpromotional school-switching). The students in these school districts tend to be the very ones who stand to benefit the most from college attainment. However, the extent to which nonstructural student mobility impacts students’ likelihood of going to college is not fully known. This quasi-experimental study of a class of high school graduates in one urban district fills a gap in the literature by both examining the effects of switching schools in grades 3–12 on college-going and establishing causality using marginal structural modeling. The results indicate that nonstructural student mobility had a negative impact on college-going, which increased with each additional grade band in which students switched schools. High school mobility lowered college-going likelihood the most, followed by mobility in late elementary school, and trailed by middle school mobility. Policy implications and future directions of research are discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access