Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


David DiBari


Unstable residential and inadequate academic environments lead to poor educational outcomes for low-income students in urban areas. In 2011, Ohio enacted a law to create a college preparatory boarding school (CPBS) for low-income students by 2013. However, Ohio's CPBS has not yet been established, thereby denying these students an opportunity to attain skills needed to enter college. Using the policy feedback theory (PFT) and Fredrickson's theory of social equity (SET) as foundations, the purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the nature of implementation barriers and propose solutions by exploring 2 successful CPBS programs in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The research questions focused on identifying implementation practices from the successful CPBS programs with the aim to propose options to implement Ohio's law. Data were collected from a purposeful sample of 14 participants which included 2 Ohio legislators; public administrators, Ohio (7), Maryland (1), Washington, D.C (3); and 1 Ohio union leader, and a review of relevant public and official records. All data were deductively coded and subjected to a constant comparison analysis. Results showed that Ohio's public education administrators were excluded from the CPBS policy's design, unlike their peers. Further, Ohio's CPBS law favored a particular stakeholder involved in its design and was not executed when Ohio's education administrators and the entity disagreed over public assets ownership. The findings affirmed SET's condition for an open and inclusive policy process and PFT's claim that current policies affect resources and the paradigm for new policies. Positive social change implications from this study include recommendations to Ohio's policymakers to create a more inclusive process involving parties willing to provide an effective learning environment for economically marginalized children.