Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jennifer Mathes


The preparation students need to complete college successfully is important to many stakeholders, including students, educators, and the community. Colleges struggle with enrollment and retention while high school teachers and community college instructors focus on the preparation of students to succeed in college. High school teachers and community college instructors are uniquely qualified to inform the determinants of college readiness across the continuum of education. This research study explored the perceptions of high school teachers and college instructors on the skills and behaviors required of students to be successful in college. This qualitative descriptive study was based on the conceptual framework of Conley's 4 keys to college readiness and used interviews from 4 high school teachers and 5 community college instructors to explore the research question. The data were open coded multiple times to construct categories that revealed 3 major themes of college readiness: preparation, engagement, and personal characteristics. High school teachers and college instructors identified similar skills and behaviors displayed by college ready students. The information gleaned from the interviews about college readiness informed the creation of a professional development project to provide college faculty with strategies to facilitate the skills and abilities needed for college success within the context of college courses. This research and project development are a move towards positive social change in improving student success in college. Given the need for college completion and the rising cost of education, the social impact of ongoing work to improve college readiness and college success is imperative for students, colleges, and teachers at all levels.