Major and Classification
Public Policy, Planning, and Development
LaVonna Lewis, PhD., Teaching Professor of Public Policy
Price: Public Policy
Research Gateway Project
“A Call for Community Planning: Higher Education Attainment and the Influence of the Built Environment on Attitudes Towards Higher Education”
This study evaluates how a neighborhood’s built environment shapes residents’ higher education attainment and attitudes towards education, focusing on two neighborhoods in Oxnard, California. The Oxnard Mobile Home Lodge operates as the target site while Rose Park acts as the comparison site. A vetted survey was utilized to gather information regarding the residents’ highest level of school completion and residents’ attitudes towards educational buildings. The study collected a sample of 40 survey responses and assessed the data by using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Analysis shows that while the target site had a higher number of residents attending school or college in the past three months than the comparison site, the comparison site had a higher number of residents who had completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. In regards to attitudes, the residents in the comparison site felt satisfied with the access to educational buildings compared to the target site. Overall, the study indicates the residents of the target site are less likely to attain a higher education degree when contrasted to the comparison site. The analysis showcases how an association exists between the built environment and education attainment. Thus, a more holistic approach of planning should be introduced when creating neighborhoods to assure equal academic opportunities are available to all residents.