How do unselective schools that serve disadvantaged students get employers to recognize their graduates' qualifications? This study examined whether low-status colleges (whose credentials may not be widely understood) rely on the traditional college charter or engage in charter-building activities to get employers to recognize students' value. Examining occupational programs in public and private two-year colleges, the authors found that both types of colleges do similar activities but do them differently. While these community colleges act as if additional action is not required, these private two-year occupational colleges actively engage in charter-building activities, mediating the hiring process by conveying students' qualifications through trusted relationships and aiming to place all their graduates, including many disadvantaged students, in jobs. The authors speculate that charter building identifies previously ignored issues and may suggest ways that low-status schools can make hiring into an institutional process in which students' lower social backgrounds have a less-negative influence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science