Improving college readiness and preparedness: Using professional development and curriculum alignment to improve instructional practices and build capacity and self-efficacy in teachers and principals
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The purpose of this research study was to identify professional development opportunities that can improve instructional teaching practices by building capacity in teachers that increases their self-efficacy and ability to deliver lessons that include a high level of rigor that aligns with a curriculum that prepares students for successful learning at the college level. The study attempted to examine the college readiness teaching practices in a small, rural high school in North Central Texas regarding the instructional strategies that best engaged students and helped to produce the greatest results in terms of student achievement on college entrance exams. This study sought to look at what curriculum supports helped build the appropriate foundation for learning that provided background knowledge and the ability to engage students with relevant information that prepares students for college-level learning. The qualitative analysis completed during this study identified three emerging themes that provided insight into the focus that this school district places on improving student learning outcomes. The findings and conclusions of the study provide empirical evidence that reveals the areas of importance that must be considered in order to provide students with the appropriate foundation for learning in order to give them their best chance for success in college.