Cara Kronen
Cara Kronen

Urban Education


Work Position
TA, Urban Education


Cara Kronen graduated from the Urban Systems program in 2014, with a specialization in Urban Education Policy. She also holds an MA in Secondary Education in Social Studies from the City College of New York and a BA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Hunter College. Cara worked as a teacher, college advisor, and professional developer in a public  high school in the Bronx, NY for nearly a decade before pursuing her PhD at Rutgers-Newark. Her research includes work on postsecondary access and outcomes of disadvantaged students, school choice, educational inequality, and urban school reform. Currently, Cara is Assistant Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she teaches in the Education department and is the Director of Secondary Education programs. 

Dissertation Title:

Breaking Though: College Aspirations and Outcomes of High School Graduates from Yonkers, NY

Dissertation Abstract:

This mixed-methods study examines the pathways and barriers to college and the postsecondary outcomes of students who graduate from public high schools in Yonkers, New York. The project describes the ways in which students plan for life after high school and negotiate the college search and selection process. Data from the National Student Clearinghouse, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and participant observation were used to inform findings. The data show that students from Yonkers have high levels of college intentions and enrollment; in some cases, these levels are at or above national norms. This is especially encouraging, considering that Yonkers is a high-needs school district and that most graduates qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, are members of underrepresented minorities, and are potential first-generation college goers. Recent cohorts of Yonkers graduates enroll in postsecondary institutions more quickly than previous cohorts and persist into the second year at higher rates. Yonkers graduates have had mixed success with degree attainment. Survey, interview, and focus group data demonstrated that financial aid and family support systems were key to persistence toward graduation. Participants demonstrated low levels of financial awareness and many misconceptions about college costs, financial aid, and student loans.


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