Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Diverse student populations are increasing in local, state, and national settings. There are achievement gaps in college readiness which must be closed between various student demographic groups. It is important for schools to know what methods work best for language acquisition to close the gaps and open postsecondary opportunities for all students. The purpose of this sequential, explanatory, mixed-method, formative program evaluation study was to examine the effects of a dual language (DL) program on improving the college readiness of students. Guided by the framework of learning and second language acquisition, college readiness levels between DL and non-DL students were examined and the perceived effects of DL as described by parents, students, and teachers were explored. The quantitative portion of the study used descriptive statistics to examine various transcript academic measures between 11 DL and 11 English immersion students. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 2 DL students, 6 English Immersion and DL staff, and a DL parent. The English Leaner students in the DL program passed more Advanced Placement courses and took more Advanced Placement exams than the English Learner students in the English Immersion program. District stakeholders interviewed for the qualitative portion of the study reported positive effects of the DL program including high levels of college preparation and increased parent involvement for the DL program. The study includes a white paper with recommendations for improvement and expansion of the DL program. Positive social change can be created in school districts by implementing effective language programs to prepare all students for the increasing demands of universities and the workplace.