Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Precollege programs, such as Talent Search (TS), are widely used to increase college readiness skills, particularly among underrepresented students in higher education. The college examined in this study had implemented the TS program, but little empirical evidence existed about the efficacy of the program. The purpose of this ex-post facto quantitative study was to evaluate the effect that the local TS program has had on college readiness and success as measured by incoming freshmen placement exam scores and students' first-year grade point average (FYGPA). The theoretical framework for the study was Conley's 4 dimensions of college readiness designed to help students succeed beyond high school. The research questions explored the differences in the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Computer Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System (COMPASS) reading and writing placement scores and FYGPA for TS program participants and non-TS participants. The balanced sample included all 120 local college students who had finished their freshman year. Independent sample t tests were conducted and no significant differences were found in FYGPA or COMPASS reading and writing scores based on program participation. To provide guidance to the local site administrators, the extant literature on precollege interventions and holistic approaches provided best practice recommendations for a white paper that included additional services not currently offered by the local TS program. Positive social change is supported through assuring appropriate precollege support that may lead to increased academic success for students, hence increasing the number of college graduates among this group.