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College preparedness is a widely researched topic within education. Previous research has found that an individual’s college readiness is primarily determined by the rigor of their high school academics, their involvement in extracurricular activities, and their knowledge of the higher educational system (Conley 2008; Glater 2016; Glennie et al. 2015; Holles 2016). The purpose of this project was to investigate whether or not Bridgewater State University students felt that these factors affected their individual preparedness for college. For this project, I interviewed 18 students who attended urban public high schools in Southeastern Massachusetts in order to explore whether or not their high school experiences adequately prepared them for college-level academics. College preparedness is important to explore in urban communities specifically because research has shown the important role that an individual’s socioeconomic status, race, and previous academic experiences can have on one’s ability to matriculate and succeed in higher education (Glater 2016). Brockton, Fall River, Taunton and New Bedford are urban communities with a large proportion of low income and minority students, and it is important to add their experiences to the conversation surrounding college preparedness. During in-depth interviews, subjects discussed their coursework, extracurricular involvement, and employment in high school. In addition, the subjects described their college application process, their college coursework and their college employment. The data collected from these interviews shows the importance of mentorship for students preparing for college. Many interviewees cited a specific mentor who used their knowledge about college to assist their students. Additionally, those students who did not feel prepared experienced a lack of support and guidance as they were looking into pursuing higher education.



Thesis Comittee

Jodi Cohen (Thesis Director)

Meghan Murphy

Walter F. Carroll

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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