College readiness in the United States is a multifaceted and complex concept, with many contributing factors that often overlap, and many students leave high school and enter college lacking the skills or knowledge necessary to succeed in higher education. This study investigates a set of study skills and self-management skills related to college readiness. I label this set Beyond-the-Classroom Learning Skills (BCLS). I investigate these skills as they relate to factors of cultural capital both in the home and at school. Using the theory of cultural capital, I determine probable sources of cultural capital in each of these settings and hypothesize their positive correlation to students’ use and perception of BCLS while they were in high school. Thus, this study provides a unique look at factors that contribute to the development of BCLS, rather than looking at BCLS as a contributing factor to academic success.
Quantitative survey methods allow me to gather information from early-college students from four higher education institutions on their use and perception of BCLS while they were in high school, along with information about their potential sources of cultural capital. While a review of the literature supports the idea that cultural capital relates to academic outcomes, my findings on this notion are mixed. I found one factor of cultural capital in the home, parental involvement, to be the strongest predictor of use and perception of BCLS among all factors investigated. Contrary to previous research, this factor relates to BCLS regardless of parental education level, a well-established predictor of college success. Conversely, factors of cultural capital in the school exhibit few significant relationships with BCLS, despite their well intentioned purpose of preparing students for higher education.
Implications of this study show opportunities for further research on encouraging parental practices that nurture the use of learning skills, for re-examining the effectiveness of high school initiatives aimed at increasing college readiness, and for investigating additional factors that may influence the development of BCLS. As directly related to practice, these findings support approaches for explicitly fostering these skills in high school students both in the home and school settings. As a possible key facet of college-readiness, developing BCLS before students enter college may provide greater success opportunities for the many students who enter these institutions and do not meet the academic standards of higher education.
|Commitee:||Trolian, Teniell, Smith, Christy|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|Department:||Educational Policy and Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher education, Secondary education, Educational evaluation|
|Keywords:||College readiness, Cultural capital, Home factors, Learning skills, School factors|
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