Development of non-academic college-readiness skills: The roles of administrators, educators, and students
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Students’ transition to college starts in high school and continues throughout their first year of college. College readiness is not only measured by high school grades and scores on standardized tests. Their college readiness also depends on their non-academic experiences, and this readiness should meet current college expectations and rigor. However, if high school administrators, counselors, and teachers fail to stay updated on frequently changing college culture, expectations, and requirements, high school students will not learn the non-academic skills that are equally crucial for academic college success. College administrators, advisors, and professors should also support college freshmen with helpful information about college life, encourage their immersion in that life, inform them about available resources, and, overall, help them become successful college graduates and adults. The purpose of this study is to identify the non-academic college readiness skills and knowledge that are essential for students to develop in high school so that they can apply to and succeed in a four-year college. The study will also investigate how educators, including secondary and postsecondary administrators, faculty, and staff, can help students develop these skills and knowledge. The qualitative methodology of this study uses a case study approach. The data will be collected through interviews, observations, and documents and records. The results will be interpreted in terms of Coleman’s social capital theory. Three high school students, a principal, a counselor, and a teacher, as well as three college students, a university program coordinator, an undergraduate advisor, and a professor, will be purposefully selected to participate in this study. The study intends to increase understanding of how high school seniors and college freshmen think about their college readiness: how they perceive and develop the non-academic skills that are crucial for college and how these skills affect their academic success. The study will also inform high school administrators, counselors, and teachers about what skills to develop in students while they are in high school so that they are better prepared socially and mentally for college. This study will also inform college administrators, undergraduate advisors, and professors who work with freshmen college students about how they can support freshmen to successfully transition into their new environment and become acclimated to college culture. Thus, this study intends to bring together the opinions, advice, and concerns of all the stakeholders in the college readiness process and suggest solutions regarding how to make that process successful for everyone.