Date of Award

Spring 6-5-2017

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Ed.D. Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Ginger MacDonald

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Chapman

Third Advisor

Dr. Ron Byrnes

Abstract

The need for college-educated, skilled workers is ever increasing, however the number students attending post-secondary education is decreasing and furthermore there is a gap between low-income students attending post-secondary education and their non-low income peers. Washington state has created the College Bound Scholarship program which financially assists low-income students to attend post-secondary education opportunities.

The purpose of this research study was to examine the barriers and supports needed for students in Pseudo School District to meet the requirements of the College Bound Scholarship: (a) graduate from a Washington high school with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher, (b) commit no felonies and (c) enroll in post-secondary education within one year of graduation. By (d) completing a yearly Free Application for Federal State Aid (FAFSA) and (e) maintaining satisfactory academic progress as outlined by their college of choice, CBS students retain their scholarship for up to four years (http://www.wsac.wa.gov/college-bound).

This qualitative study used data about previous student cohorts’ performance, along with student focus groups and counselor surveys to report findings. The data revealed an increasing rate at which low-income students were failing core academic courses and a continued rate of 20% of student not meeting the academic eligibility requirement over a five-year timespan. This study indicated a need to begin tracking performance of low-income students, a need to examine barriers to credit attainment in core English and math courses, and increased interaction between College Bound student cohorts and school staff (teachers, counselors, advisors, and administrators).

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