Author Information

Katie Trudell


College preparedness is an important topic within educational research. Scholars have not yet come to a consensus on how college preparedness should be defined, but previous research has noted the significant impact that an individual’s high school experience can have on their ability to prepare for college (FarmerHinton 2008; Glater 2016; Holland 2006; Reid and Moore 2008; Wimberly and Noeth 2004). Often students who are involved in extracurricular activities and complete advanced coursework in high school are more prepared to transition into higher education (Conley 2008; Glater 2016; Reid and Moore 2008). Furthermore, low-income and first-generation students require additional support from their high schools because they often do not receive information about college from their family members (FarmerHinton 2008; Glater 2016; Gullatt and Jan 2003; Holland 2009; Reid and Moore 2008; Wimberly and Noeth 2004). Therefore, it is important to examine the ways that high schools support or fail to support students as they prepare for college.

In this study, I interviewed 18 Bridgewater State University students from Brockton, Taunton, Fall River, and New Bedford, four small cities in southeastern Massachusetts. The purpose of this research is to confirm whether or not the qualitative data collected in this study mirrors the findings that previous researcher have found. The data collected from these interviews emphasizes the significant role that extracurricular involvement, advanced coursework, and college preparedness programs have on preparing students to transition into college. Students who have the opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with high school faculty and staff that provide them with academic and social assistance are often better prepared to transition into college. Therefore, the data collected in this research reinforces the significant role that high schools can play in preparing students for the transition into higher education.

Note on the Author

Katie Trudell is a graduating senior majoring in Elementary Education and Sociology. Her research, mentored by Dr. Jodi Cohen (Sociology), was funded by a 2017 Adrian Tinsley Program summer research grant. Katie presented this paper at the 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Central Oklahoma. She plans to pursue a Master's degree in Elementary Education and to work with elementary school students in urban areas.

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