Darrell Hooker

University of Houston

Darrell Hooker is a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies program. He holds a B.A. in political science and M.Ed. in educational administration. Darrell’s research focuses on understanding how high school level characteristics can work to affect student outcomes in their early post-secondary careers.

Dissertation Abstract: Darrell’s dissertation focuses on the connection between high school characteristics and early college outcomes. Data from the Department of Education and other sources support the belief that education has the ability to put individuals on track to transform their socioeconomic situation. In the United States, the Black and Latinx communities generally experience higher incidences of poverty when compared to their White and Asian counterparts; this is partly due to the lower rates of post-secondary educational attainment among these communities. The collective purpose of the three studies within this dissertation is to examine the relationship between high school academic environment and individual early college outcomes. The first quantitative study uses data from a large, urban community college in Texas to examine the relationship between high school accountability ratings and placement in developmental education, first semester GPA, and persistence and transfer outcomes in year two. The second quantitative study uses data from the Survey of Entering Student Engagement at the same community college to understand the relationship between high school academic indicators, such as the level of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment participation, and sense of self-efficacy for students of Black and Latinx backgrounds. The final qualitative study uses data gathered from administrators, counselors/advisors, and teachers at the secondary and post-secondary levels, through a series of three focus group sessions, to understand how disconnects along the high school-to-college continuum happen and how these disconnects might be bridged.