Tori Thomas

Penn State University

Tori Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate in the dual- degree Sociology and Demography Ph.D. program. Her research interests include race and education as well as school racial segregation. In particular, her dissertation research examines the effects of high school racial segregation on the long-term educational outcomes of Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics. She received her M.A. in Sociology from Penn State in 2016 and her B.A. in Sociology from Georgia State University in 2013.

Dissertation Title: High School Racial Segregation and Long-Term Educational Outcomes

Dissertation Abstract: Research continues to show persistent racial/ethnic disparities in educational outcomes, and my research explores how the segregation of high schools helps to explain students’ outcomes in high school and beyond. While much of the literature show a relationship between school racial segregation and short-term academic outcomes, less is known about long-term outcomes, educational attainment, and the effects on high school students. Tori’s research, including her dissertation, contributes to the literature by examining how attending racially (de)segregated high schools shapes Black, White, and Hispanic students’ educational outcomes during and after high school. Her co-authored manuscript examines how attending racially (de)segregated high schools shapes educational attainment trajectories leading to both two and four year degree completion. The first dissertation chapter examines how attending (de)segregated high schools affects whether students surpass the educational attainment of their parents. The specific contribution of this chapter is that it will show how attending a (de)segregated high school can shape racial/ethnic inequalities in educational attainment across generations. The following chapter examines how attending (de)segregated high schools affects whether students with high college aspirations, later complete a four-year degree. The specific contribution of this chapter is that will show how having high college aspirations may be predictive of college completion when attending a (de)segregated school. The last chapter examines how attending (de)segregated high schools affects students’ course trajectories in Math. The specific contribution of this chapter is that it will suggest how high school course trajectories resulting from (de)segregation affect long-term educational outcomes.