College Students' Perspectives on the Benefits of College Preparaory Programs and Their Decisions to Pursue a Degree in Higher Education

Valerie L Nelson, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

The aim of this study was to understand the perspectives of college students on the benefits of college preparatory programs and how these perspectives may have influenced their decision to enroll in and persist in college while pursuing a degree in higher education. To this end, the guiding research question was: To what extent did participation in college preparatory programs influence student's beliefs and experiences toward college completion? Sub questions for this study were: In what ways did cultural capital impact students' beliefs and experiences toward college completion? In what ways did social capital impact students' beliefs and experiences toward college completion? A qualitative study utilizing a phenomenological approach was conducted among college students who participated in college preparatory programs while in high school. Interviewing was the primary method of data collection. Each interview was tape recorded and transcribed by a third party. The research questions were answered through a series of open-ended interview questions. Respondents provided detailed information outlining their personal experiences. Coding was used to determine commonalities among participant responses and emergent themes. An analysis of the data revealed that there were seven themes that emerged as a part of participant experiences. The two overarching themes were College Preparation arid Ongoing Support. Sub-themes were Exposure and Increased Knowledge, Ongoing Support, Peer Influence/Support, Program Coordinators, and Parental Expectations. Several conclusions were drawn from this study that are relevant to the field education. Participants of college preparatory programs found value in these programs due to the ongoing support provided and program components that assisted with preparing for college. The unique learning environments created in college preparatory programs provides a foundation for students who need additional assistance in the form of exposure, resources, and skills related to college access and college completion. Key Terms: College Preparatory Programs, College Completion, College Readiness, Cultural Capital, Social Capital

Subject Area

Education

Recommended Citation

Nelson, Valerie L, "College Students' Perspectives on the Benefits of College Preparaory Programs and Their Decisions to Pursue a Degree in Higher Education" (2018). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI13872026.
https://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI13872026

Share

COinS