Dayan Bernal and Dr. Thomas E. Lyon, Director of Latin American Studies
This thesis examines the effectiveness of a college preparation course for Hispanic students at Provo High School. Studies indicate that the majority of Hispanic students in the United States are not enrolled in postsecondary institutions. As a result, their education is discontinued after high school. This does not imply that the majority of Hispanic students do not desire to pursue a postsecondary degree; instead it indicates the scarcity and lack of initiatives and outreach programs that steer Hispanic students toward a higher education. Therefore, additional initiatives and outreach programs are required to promote higher college enrollment rates among Hispanic students.
This study explored the impact of a college preparation course for disadvantaged Hispanic high school students. The main hypothesis postulated that a college preparation course would inform and motivate Hispanic students to continue their education beyond high school. In-depth pre-surveys and post-surveys measured students’ background and interest in a postsecondary education. The findings suggest that disadvantaged Hispanic high school students have academic challenges due to misinformation concerning college requirements, low socioeconomic status, working status, and low-parental involvement. These factors appear to have persisting effects on their education, thus impeding their education beyond high school. This College Preparation Course motivated and gave students the knowledge of the many options and opportunities available in higher education.
The purpose of this College Preparation Course was to help Hispanic students pursue a postsecondary education. Specifically, this course helped Hispanic students in high school become qualified for and aware of postsecondary educational opportunities. The objectives of this course were: (1) to motivate and inform students of the many options and opportunities available in a postsecondary education, (2) to help students prepare academically, character-wise, and financially for college, (3) and to prepare and assist students with the college application process.
The data obtained from this study and descriptive statistics from the independent variables were obtained from the pre-surveys and post-surveys. The pre-survey included descriptive questions to determine why students had poor academic records. Personal background, family background, health metrics, and socioeconomic status have been correlated with students’ academic records. The independent variables discovered are proof that these factors influence student’s academic progress.
The overall class goal was to focus on students’ potential when given an opportunity. Its purpose was to educate and motivate students to help them improve their academic record. The course informed students of the endless opportunities higher education can make available.
This College Preparation Course offered less-advantaged students an opportunity to know of the options and opportunities available in a postsecondary institution. The course employed various resources to help students become further qualified and aware of postsecondary educational opportunities. Community resources and school resources were used to motivate and inform students about college options and opportunities.
Furthermore, it empowers disadvantaged Hispanic high school students to achieve their greatest academic potential and obtain a postsecondary degree. Since many of the students in this study were misinformed about college and college prerequisites, this course informed and prepared them academically, character-wise, and financially for a postsecondary education. Students developed a greater desire to improve academically and attend a postsecondary institution. It encouraged less advantaged Hispanic students to pursue a postsecondary degree, thus improving our nation’s current condition of low Hispanic college enrollment rate.