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Dr. Karen Robson shows off her award in Vancouver BC at the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences

And the award for best article of the year goes to...

Sociology professor Karen Robson has recently been recognized for best article of the year in Canadian Journal of Higher Education.

Jun 10, 2019

Karen Robson, sociology professor and Ontario Research Chair in Educational Achievement and At-Risk Youth, was recently honoured by receiving the Edward F. Sheffield Award, alongside fellow Drs. Paul Anisef and Robert S. Brown and PhD candidate Rhonda George (York University) for the best article of the year in Canadian Journal of Higher Education.

The article, entitled, “Underrepresented Students and the Transition to Postsecondary Education: Comparing Two Toronto Cohorts,” uses data from two cohorts of Grade 12 students in Toronto. It examines whether the transition to post-secondary education has changed between 2006 and 2011, particularly for under-represented groups. It focuses on how the intersections of race and sex affect post-secondary transitions in the two cohorts and their findings revealed that self-identified Black, Latino and Southeast Asian students faced structural barriers to post-secondary education than their self-identified Caucasian counterparts generally do not.

“It's a real honour and privilege to be recognized for the policy-orientated work we do with the TDSB.” Robson says, “When you do this type of work it can sometimes feel like you're shouting into a void. But our peers have really bolstered our confidence that our work on reducing inequalities in post-secondary education is being heard and considered.”

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the only public-school board in Ontario that tracks this detailed demographic data, which allows researchers to study how students experience high school and their path to post-secondary, but this also paves the way for policy makers to make meaningful changes for students experiencing these obstacles.

This research is part of The Gateway Cities Project, a 4 year SSHRC Insight Grant entitled, "Widening Post-secondary Access Pathways of Marginalized Youth in Gateway Cities."

The Edward F. Sheffield Award was named in honour of Ted Sheffield, the first Professor of Higher Education in Canada (University of Toronto), and founding President of the CSSHE. The award is to recognize the research article in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education deemed by the editors to be the best of the preceding year.

Read the article in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education.

By: Sarah Ghandour