Hispanic Student Perceptions of College Preparedness
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ABSTRACT Hispanic Student Perceptions of College Readiness: December 2015 Miranda Inez de la Garza, Master of Science, Texas A & M International University Chair of Committee: Dr. Maria Lourdes Viloria The educational community deems college and career readiness a crucial issue facing our society. According to recent literature, Texas trails many other states in the United States in college retention and graduation rates. This phenomenon occurs due to inadequate preparation of high school students for post-secondary education. The educational prospects of the Hispanic community in Texas may continue to suffer if Hispanic students graduate from high school ill prepared for college coursework. Evidence of this problem is apparent in the overrepresentation of Hispanic students in developmental education programs in colleges and universities. Recent studies reveal a lack of alignment between the learning activities undergone during high school and the learning activities encountered in college, which causes students to enter college underprepared for success in credit-bearing coursework. However, the passage of House Bill One, “The Advancement of College Readiness in Curriculum”, in 2005 increased the accountability of Texas High Schools for the college preparedness of students. In 2008, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board unanimously approved a set of college and career readiness standards to incorporate into the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Furthermore, the recently implemented State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams involve more higher-order thinking and an increased level of academic rigor compared to previous Texas state exams. In addition, Texas high school students must pass certain STAAR End-of-Course exams in order to be considered college-ready. The researcher seeks to determine whether or not an increase in college preparedness has occurred following the inception of the College and Career Readiness Standards and the STAAR program. According to recent literature, three main factors contributed to inadequate preparation for college in the past: lack of higher-order thinking activities, differing writing requirements from high school to college, and the fact that the study habits required for success in college were often neglected in high school coursework. The researcher analyzed data related to these three factors. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between the learning activities from the senior year of high school and the learning activities from the freshman year of college.