Nancy E. Hill, Ph.D.
Charles Bigelow Professor of Education
Graduate School of Education
Abstract: Even as youth often live ‘in the moment,’ adolescence is a time of preparation and transition. Youth are figuring out what they need from their adolescent years and from schools to be prepared for adulthood. In addition to academic preparation, youth need a broad set of skills and dispositions to navigate a complex and global economy. Whereas it is important to help youth envision themselves in careers and in college, focusing on college and careers as outcomes often misses the importance of helping youth hone their sense of purpose and develop the cognitive and analytical skills to make sense of and navigate the job market. Professor Hill will present research on the significance of these broader outcomes and the relational supports that are associated with their development. As there are entrenched inequities in access to high quality education, to college, and to the social capital needed to navigate a successful transition to adulthood, these processes are examined in a series of studies on diverse samples. By examining findings across samples from a range in economic and ethnic backgrounds, commonalities and divergences in goals and experiences will be highlighted. Further, as these studies are grounded in research-practice partnerships, the integration of findings across theory, policy and practice will be emphasized.