chapter  3
29 Pages


Family engagement is an early part of the formation of academic capital within lowincome, fi rst-generation families involved in two of the exemplary programs. Th e selection mechanisms diff er for the two programs, setting up diff erent patterns of family engagement from the outset. Washington State Achievers (WSA) are chosen as juniors in high school using noncognitive variables (Sedlacek & Sheu, 2006) and teacher recommendations. In contrast, Twenty-fi rst Century Scholars (TFCS) signed up students for the program, requiring parent signatures, between the sixth and eighth grade. Scholars were encouraged to take a college preparatory curriculum in high school, and they and their parents had opportunities to learn about college requirements and visit campuses. Th e comparison of the two programs enables an exploration of how relieving concerns about college costs interacts with student and family engagement to form academic capital prior to high school graduation. Before examining the programs, we identify anticipated patterns, or hypotheses, related to the ways program involvement might alter academic capital formation.