Educators’ Perspectives Regarding the Impact of a College Readiness Program on Latinx Students in an Urban High School



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Background: College Readiness for All: The Challenge for Urban High Schools, focuses on the importance of improving college readiness for minority students in schools. College admission standards discussed include coursework, achievement test scores, and grade point averages. One of the many resources that the United States has not utilized in education reform movements is the power educators have in their schools and surrounding communities. Reforms originated by educators working in marginalized communities are at the forefront of creating successful college programs. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of teachers building a competitive college readiness program at Huerta High School. Educators who participated in the program will respond to the research question: What are educators’ perspectives regarding the impact of a college readiness program on Latinx students in an urban high school? In this study, common themes were assessed and evaluated to reflect the core effectiveness of the program, possibly replicating the model to other schools with similar demographics. These themes focus on core components of the program’s vision, academics, work ethic, and identity. Methods: This qualitative research study involves a convenience sample using Creswell’s approach for case studies as the primary research methodology to triangulate data about the dynamics and value analysis educators have with the college readiness program, archival data of documents from the program, and my personal experience as a Latinx alumna of Huerta High School, an urban setting with majority Latinx population. This case study involves a college readiness program developed here. The four participants were educators who worked and designed the College Readiness Program. Participants engaged in two one-on-one interviews with questions that included their involvement in the program. Both interviews were approximately 20-30 minutes and transcribed with common themes emerging on the effectiveness of the program. This study was both low-level coding and evolved into high-level coding focused on the common themes generated from the participants as well as the themes of focus from the program itself. To ensure the validity of the study, member checks were included in interviews and documented the research process. Results: Findings in this case study showed the emergence of four themes: (1) Vision and mission of the College Readiness Program, an important attribute that participants expressed to focus on a common goal and based their decisions moving forward. (2) Organic relationships between teachers in their respective cohorts working on cross-curricular projects strengthened relationships with students. (3) Educators felt the merchandise and marketing created program identity for student ownership of the program and their education. (4) Participants made it clear, teacher empowerment was the driving force for a successful program focused on the Latinx community and other marginalized students. Conclusion: This study reinforces the importance of teachers as masters in their curriculum, experts in program development, and understand its community and resources that would allow marginalized students to thrive. By seeking the perspectives of the College Readiness Program’s success, participants expressed decisions for students should begin as a grassroots movement by educators collaborating.



Latinx, Program Development