Academic journal article International Journal of Psychology Research

Differences in Postsecondary Readiness for Texas Students as a Function of Bilingual Education Services

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychology Research

Differences in Postsecondary Readiness for Texas Students as a Function of Bilingual Education Services

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Concerns from colleges and universities about the lack of student preparation for the rigors of academia at institutes of higher learning has drawn researchers (e.g., Barnes and Slate, 2010, 2013; Barnes, Slate and Rojas-LeBouef, 2010) to investigate and shed light on what constitutes college readiness. A nationally known researcher (Conley, 2007) defined college readiness as the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind students acquire in high school to be successful in college-level courses without remediation, Byrd and McDonald (2005) examined the college readiness perspectives of nontraditional first-generation college students. All the participants recognized that academic skills, specifically in reading, writing, and math, were required for college readiness. In addition, time management and the ability to advocate for themselves were mentioned as being critical to college success. Byrd and McDonald (2005) concluded that students' life experiences helped them develop the skills perceived to be necessary for success in college.

Reid and Moore (2008) investigated the attitudes and thoughts of first-generation students entering college, in regard to how well their high school prepared them for college. The majority of students revealed the skills needed to be successful in college were not acquired in high school. Participants believed English classes in high school were most beneficial, helping develop the writing skills they needed for college. However, they lacked the study skills necessary for college-level work. Furthermore, Reid and Moore reported poor time management skills was a common theme among participants. Reid and Moore (2008) concluded that although participants were strong students in high school, once in college they faced an assortment of challenges.

HISPANIC STUDENTS AND COLLEGE READINESS

Hispanics comprise 12.5% of the total population in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau (2009) forecast that this percentage would increase to 30% of the total population in the United States by the year 2050. As documented by Cabrera and La Nasa (2000), Hispanic enrollment in higher education represented only 9% of the total student population in 2002. With respect to Texas, Murdock (2010) projected that Hispanic students would comprise 38% of all college students in Texas by 2050.

Pino, Martinez, and Smith (2012) conducted a study at two state universities, Georgia Southern University and Texas State-San Marcos, to determine if academic ethics in high school correlated into successful performance in college. Academic ethics refers to the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind students engage in toward learning (Conley, 2007). Pino et al. (2012) also examined the usefulness of transition programs such as freshmen orientation and first-year seminars. Students who possessed an academic ethic in high school were more likely to also possess it in college, but these same students did not demonstrate a higher GPA in high school or in college. Students reported freshmen orientation was helpful as they progressed from high school into higher education. Pino et al. (2012) concluded first-generation students were less likely to engage in behaviors to distract them from studying.

Amaro-Jiménez and Hungerford-Kresser (2013) conducted a qualitative investigation to identify the demands of starting a program targeting college readiness, and aimed at reducing dropout rates and increasing the number of diverse students in post-secondary education, in particular Hispanic high school students in the United States. Although mentors reported success in promoting a college-going culture at the schools where they worked, they reported frustration in the lack of support they received from faculty and staff. Teachers were reluctant in sending students to the Go Centers, believing students were not college material and/or did not have a chance of going to college. Amaro-Jiménez and Hungerford-Kresser (2013) recommended educators should describe and report the challenges and successes of implementing college readiness programs, as it offered opportunities for other organizations to do similar work, capitalizing on what works, and devising strategies to overcome challenges. …

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