While the American dream could have different meanings for Americans today, one dream for many middle and high school students is to have the opportunity to attend college; however, a challenge facing students across the United States is that they are graduating from middle and high school unprepared to enter the postsecondary institution of their choice. Despite over thirty years of educational reform attempts since “A Nation at Risk” (1983) was published, there continues to be a growing concern that middle and high school graduates are not college and career ready (Choy, Horn, Nunez, & Chen, 2000; Conley, 2010; Jackson, 2009). Consequently, middle and high school students deemed college-eligible are often not college-ready. Students who are not in the top academic quartile in middle and high school may have aspirations of attending college, but often fail college entrance exams (Leonard, 2013). They contend that middle and high school graduation course requirements are often less than rigorous, or misaligned with courses necessary for college admission. Due to the lack of early academic preparation, students may need to take remedial courses once in college (Adelman, 1999). Public universities across the United States invest billions of dollars remediating about one-third of their incoming freshman, which in turn costs students more time and money (Bettinger & Long, 2009; Wimberly & Noeth, 2005). This study explores the fundamental distinctions of college readiness through the examination of a grant project received under the federal college-ready program, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). The study could reveal important information, which may bring about necessary changes in middle and high schools. By investigating how GEAR UP students describe their experiences with the project, as well as how these experiences contribute to college readiness, student voices and stories may benefit policymakers and administrators as they plan for academic and social supports for future middle and high school students.
|Advisor:||Trahan, Mitzi P.|
|Commitee:||Adams, Nan B., Daspit, Toby|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||College access, College readiness, Social capital|
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