Ensuring students graduate high school ready to enter college or the workforce has become a prime focus within secondary education. High school graduates are often ill-prepared for college-level work and often have to register for remedial courses before they can take standard college level courses (Southern Regional Education Board, 2010). Serving as both a solution to this concern and an alternative to traditional high schools, early college high schools were created to focus on increasing the number of students graduating from high school and enrolling in college. Early college high schools seek to serve students who have traditionally underperformed in school and those who are underrepresented in higher education including students of color, first-generation college students, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and English language learners (Barnett, Bucceri, Hindo, Kim, 2013; “Overview & FAQS,” 2013). In efforts to learn more about how early colleges are meeting the needs of students, this dissertation examines the experiences, identity construction, and perceptions of Black male students at a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) based early college high school.
Using a qualitative case study design, participants were eight Black male upperclassmen enrolled in a STEM early college high school, located on the campus of a four-year university. Data was collected through focus groups and individual interviews and data was analyzed thematically. Findings suggest students in this study have largely positive experiences at their early college high school. Despite some challenges, the early college high school environment helps facilitate scholar identities, and the STEM focus of the school helps students learn more about their strengths and weaknesses. The implications of the research, recommendations for educational stakeholders, and recommendations for future research are discussed.
|Advisor:||Lewis, Chance W.|
|Commitee:||Butler, Bettie R., Glass, Tehia, Taylor, Bruce|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Charlotte|
|Department:||Curriculum and Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Black studies, Secondary education, Science education|
|Keywords:||Early college high school, Scholar identity, Stem education|
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