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Exploring Hidden Student Perceptions About College-going Culture At House Bill 400 Schools In The Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex

Description: In accordance with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Boards’ Closing the Gaps by 2015, this research study analyzed self-reported perceptions about college-going culture from students (n = 151) who attended four House Bill 400 schools serving Latino and African American communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. This study utilized exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with a maximum likelihood extraction technique to identify hidden perceptions (latent factors) that account for common variance among student perceptions about college-going culture. The study also tested the validity and inter-item reliability of the 15-item College-Going Culture Survey used in data collection. The parallel analysis, EFA, and Cronbach’s ? identified two latent factors of Verified College Potential (? = .70) and College Capital Awareness (? = .71) that, together, explained 40.1% of students’ perceptions. The two factors were non-significantly negatively correlated (r = -.495, p = .354). By utilizing the two latent constructs, a 10-item revised College-Going Culture Survey is recommended to improve the inter-item reliability coefficient from ? = .46 to ? = .77. Descriptive statistics revealed that Latino and African-American students affirmed aspects of the college-going culture at HB 400 schools. However, latent factors suggest the possibility that students who reportedly feel most encouraged to attend college (Verified College Potential) may tend to be least aware of the actual logistics of college such as admissions processes and financial aid (College Capital Awareness) and that, conversely, those with the most logistical knowledge may tend to feel least encouraged.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Willis II, Roderick C.
Partner: UNT Libraries