Education as a Human Right: A Comparison of Two Early College Approaches to University Access for Racial/Ethnic Minority Students in Costa Rica and the United States

  • Leah McAlister-Shields Sam Houston State University
  • Rebecca M. Bustamante Sam Houston State University
Keywords: early college high school, college readiness, college access, racial and ethnic minorities, educational systems, United States, Costa Rica

Abstract

In line with the United Nations perspective of Education being a human right for all world citizens, access to higher education by students representing traditionally marginalized racial and ethnic minority groups continues to be a challenge in many nations.  In Costa Rica and the United States, early college high school programs represent one approach to facilitating college going and retention rates of racial and ethnic minority students by enhancing college readiness skills and dispositions.  An overview of the educational systems and philosophies of each country are given, as well as comparisons of racial and ethnic demographics. Examples of early college high school approaches applied in both Costa Rica and the United States then are presented, followed by a discussion of implications for practice. In comparing early college systems, several questions for further inquiry emerged particularly around the demographic reporting and power mobility of Afro Costa Ricans.

Author Biographies

Leah McAlister-Shields, Sam Houston State University
Leah McAlister-Shields is an Academic Program Manager at the University of Houston and a doctoral student in Educational Leadership- Higher Education Administration at Sam Houston State University. Her research interests include college access, college readiness, social and cultural capital of minority students, and the matriculation and persistence of racial and ethnic minority college students. She is also interested in research involving mixed methodology, and pragmatist research approaches. Leah has presented and served on discussion panels at both the National UTeach and Southwest Educational Research Association (SERA) Conferences. Ms. McAlister-Shields is the recipient of the 2012 Dean’s Award for a paper entitled, College Readiness: Factors related to the achievement of STEM majors, and was recently selected as a 2013 UCEA David Clark Scholar. Leah holds a BS in Political Science and Sociology and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Houston.
Rebecca M. Bustamante, Sam Houston State University
Rebecca Bustamante received her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Sam Houston State University where she teaches doctoral-level courses in organizational culture, and research methods. Rebecca has lived and worked in the U.S., Brazil, Colombia, and Panama and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Published
2015-04-26
How to Cite
McAlister-Shields, L., & Bustamante, R. (2015). Education as a Human Right: A Comparison of Two Early College Approaches to University Access for Racial/Ethnic Minority Students in Costa Rica and the United States. Current Issues in Education, 18(1). Retrieved from https://cie.asu.edu/ojs/index.php/cieatasu/article/view/1292
Section
Articles