Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Ellen M. Gambino

Second Supervisor

Shelley Jallow

Abstract

The dissertation study on social capital and college preparatory frameworks examined the positive impact college preparatory frameworks have on providing access to post-secondary educational opportunities for socioeconomically disadvantaged students. The purpose of the study was to determine whether college preparatory frameworks serve as a catalyst in changing the level of access to post-secondary educational resources for socioeconomically disadvantaged students and whether that post-secondary access leads to a change in social capital. The study explored the relationship between graduation from a school that offers a college preparatory framework, including private schools, and the alteration of social capital of disadvantaged students. The qualitative study was comprised of 30-minute semi-structured in-depth interviews with six alumni who attended college preparatory high schools. The findings of the study confirmed that college preparatory frameworks provide the students with the resources they need to access post-secondary opportunities, thus improving their social capital. The study recommends three steps to aid students and parents in the process of improving social capital through education: greater investment in the development of college preparatory frameworks, creation of more institutional supports outside of schools, and additional support within schools to aid in the college application process. The study recommends a comparative study be conducted to analyze the difference in social capital between college preparatory alumni who resided in two-parent households and those who resided in single-parent households. The study also vii recommends research be conducted on the emotional factors associated with improving social capital.

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