Obstacles to College Readiness: A Case Study

Obstacles to College Readiness: A Case Study

Author: 
Elizabeth Ponce-Lugo
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
The specific problem was that 32.7 percent of graduates from a large Texas high school did not receive sufficient non-curricular support and failed to be ready for college (Moore et al., 2010; Texas Education Agency, 2012c). The purpose of this exploratory single case study was to examine teachers’ perceptions of non-curricular aspects influencing college readiness for first generation college-bound students at a large Texas high school, and to explore how teachers might help increase college readiness and overcome the barriers towards college readiness. The central research question was: How do teachers in a Texas high school perceive the non-curricular aspects influencing college readiness? The participants were 14 teachers with five to thirty-five years of experience. Data were collected by face-to-face interviews and NVivo 11 was used for data analysis. The major themes were (a) the lack of support and encouragement from parents, (b) parents’ lack of education, (c) sibling’s and relative’s lack of education, (d) parents’ poor financial status and (e) students’ English language problems. Educational leaders should understand that the cost of a lack of college readiness would not only affect students and parents, but also impact American society and taxpayers. Creating programs and interventions that would minimize or eliminate the non-academic obstacles to college readiness is an essential task that must be undertaken. Leaders might consider the creation of these programs and interventions as a priority. Future research was recommended.
Dedication: 
First, I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity and giving me the strength and health to complete this endeavor. This Dissertation is dedicated to my husband Alejandro Lugo for his invaluable support and care, and also in memory of my parents and my grandma Chita for the values and work ethic they instilled in me. I also dedicate this dissertation to Rosy, Paty, Eliana, Jesus, to all my family and friends for always being there for me. Likewise, I dedicate this dissertation to an exceptional human being, Dr. Libi Shen who continually pushed me and engaged me since the first time that I had contact with her
Acknowledgements: 
A special thank and gratitude goes to Rosy, Paty, Eliana, and Jesus, my family, and my friends who have given me encouragement and emotional support, and who have understood me and acted as my cheerleaders throughout this doctoral journey. I would like to express my deepest and most sincere appreciation to my committee chair, Dr. Libi Shen. Without her guidance, expertise, wisdom, and outstanding help, this dissertation would not have been completed. She always inspired me not to give up, do my best, and transmit me her energy and enthusiasm. I will always remember her saying, “When there’s a will, there’s a way.” I loved to hear that and it always produced in me a big smile because after that I felt a light shining through. I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. April Flanagan and Dr. Paula Young, who have generously given their time and expertise to better my work. I thank them for their contributions that provided invaluable support and freely shared their wealth of knowledge notwithstanding their numerous responsibilities. In addition, a thank you to Dr. Jose Espinoza, who encouraged me to do this study and provided his full support. I would also like to thank Carmen Rodriguez and Dr. Daniel “Chip” Turner for their priceless supports. I am grateful to the participants who share their valuables memories and experiences to make my research possible. Thank you to all of the people above for endless love, sacrifices, prayers, motivation, support, and advice. There are not enough words to express how grateful and fortunate I am to have all of you in my life. I am in great debt to you.