Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Candace Adams


A problem that exists in higher education is that many students are not college and career ready. Many students enter college without being academically prepared to succeed. The purpose of this study was to explore the academic college readiness barriers and supports of freshmen college students from a Midwestern inner-city college. The conceptual framework of this study was Bourdieu’s social capital theory. The research questions address what college freshmen who graduated from inner-city public high schools perceive to be the barriers and necessary supports to reaching their academic goals. The basic interpretive research design was used to investigate the problem of inner-city students not being college ready. The participants of this qualitative study were 10 college freshmen at a local community college who were recent graduates of Knowles inner-city public-schools. In-depth, semi structured interviews were held with participants and data analysis involved exploring themes and patterns in the data. Participants revealed the supports to reaching their academic goals were meaningful relationships, financial literacy, and college preparedness. Participants further stated the barriers to reaching their academic goals were time management, teacher low expectations/inconsistency, and continuous student personal needs while pursuing higher education. The positive social change expected from this study is that educational leaders develop policies and actions to enable more inner-city students to gain and apply enough college readiness skills to experience greater success in college.