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Abstract

A college-going culture has been found to improve academic outcomes for underrepresented high school students (Allen, Kimura-Walsh, & Griffin, 2009; Stanton-Salazar, 2010). The research on Catholic high schools shows their college-preparatory environment ability to produce successful outcomes for African-American and Latino students (Bryk, Lee, & Holland, 1993). This study examines two urban Catholic high schools and how they construct opportunities for low-income Latino and Africa-American male students. The year-long study draws from 1) ethnographic field notes; 2) interviews with students and staff; 3) survey and 4) student data. Data suggests that although both schools focused on preparing students for college, only one maintained a college-going culture through its college-going discourse which better served the needs of its underrepresented students.

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