Perspectives of Secondary and Postsecondary Faculty on Student College Readiness
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Purpose The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to identify the perceptions of secondary and postsecondary faculty on student college readiness. Additionally, an identification of the competencies and deficiencies as viewed by secondary and postsecondary faculty was made using the identified faculty perceptions resulting from literature reviews in study 1 and study 2. Study 3 focused on a phenomenological study of the perceptions and beliefs of secondary and postsecondary faculty on student college readiness. Method The literature review in this journal-ready dissertation included peer-reviewed journal articles and dissertations published in 2006-2015 and focused on the perceptions of faculty members on students’ college readiness and associated competencies and deficiencies. A phenomenological approach was chosen to explore the perceptions of secondary and postsecondary faculty perceptions of student college readiness. Information was obtained from key participants in their respective educational environments through semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Faculty responses to three open-ended questions regarding their perceptions of student college readiness were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using classical content analysis. Findings Findings in the literature revealed optimistic perceptions of student college readiness held by secondary faculty. Secondary faculty perceived their students to be well prepared in writing, science, and mathematics (content knowledge and skills), and in the areas of academic maturity, motivation, learning styles, assertiveness, social and interpersonal skills, advice-seeking, and goal setting (learner qualities). Literature on postsecondary faculty perceptions of college readiness revealed student weaknesses in study skills, critical and analytical thinking, and the ability to generalize and reason. Secondary and postsecondary faculty who were interviewed, held similar perceptions of student college readiness. Overall, faculty perceived most students as leaving high school and entering postsecondary education with some degree of underpreparedness in one of more of the following areas: academic skills, maturation level, and soft skills.