Sarah Masri

Sarah Masri
PhD Student
Department of Sociology, McMaster University

Current Research Project:

Parental Impact on Muslim Students’ Access to Post-Secondary Education in Canadian Schools

Canadian research in the field of sociology of education and educational inequalities continues to look at factors that lower and facilitate access to post-secondary education. However, more research is required to look at the level of impact that parental resources and educational support have on Muslim children’s school and university education choices. In particular, there needs to be a differentiation among various cultural and ethnic Muslim groups and their academic performance and access to educational resources. In addition, there needs to be a focus on access to a variety of educational resources provided to Muslim students’ elementary and high school years and how this directly impacts a) their academic performance throughout the years in school, b) their choice of university or college and c) the program they choose to enroll in for their post-secondary education. With my research, I seek to answer the following questions: 1) What type of impact do parents’ educational background, support and resources have on children’s post-secondary studies? and 2) What are the resources and support that parents provide with the strongest/weakest effect on access to post-secondary education?

What motivated you to pursue this project?

What motivated me to pursue this specific topic is my passion for education as well as my general interest in analyzing educational inequality trends and offering solutions to close the gaps. Lastly, I want my work and research to have an impact on educational policies.

Where do you see your project having the most impact?

I plan to present my dissertation findings at academic conferences focused on bettering access to post-secondary studies for those who might be facing any type or form of barriers with regards to educational resources. My research will also offer suggestions and recommendations of education policies through working with school boards in the GTA as well as proposing changes to the Ministry of Education to effectively implement these policies. Finally, my goal is to further encourage government aid for students to access resources that would allow them to successfully develop certain skills and acquire tools throughout their school years before starting their post-secondary studies.

What advice do you have for other graduate students?

My biggest advice would be to continuously seek advice and second opinions from different people about any research project or topic, especially from those who have more experience and various perspectives that could be extremely helpful for your research.

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