Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Wendy G. Troxel




David Weatherspoon

216 Pages January 2015

The purpose of this study is to examine the educational stories of GED graduates' pursuit of a college degree. The analysis captures the shared experiences of a select number of students' challenges and barriers during their transition to college. This research explores the links between the concepts of social and cultural capital and locus of control (behavior) by examining how these concepts are logically interrelated. The students were purposefully selected to participate based on their involvement in the community college GED transition to college program. Each participant had completed a GED and was asked to participate in a 6-week college preparation program that involved taking developmental courses and corresponding workshops to address academic challenges and navigation of the admissions process.

This study examined five research questions which provided insight through the life stories of sixteen African American (AA) and Latino/a students to determine what helped them overcome barriers and challenges to reach their goals. The research questions generally covered their reasons to pursue a degree, challenges they face, their support system both outside and inside the academic realm, and the implications for effective college transition planning for GED completers.

The findings in this study reveal that developing students' cultural and social capital will create an environment that motivates students to persist. Most of the students in this study who participated in the transition program felt empowered to take charge of their own destiny when pursuing their college degree. More specifically, in this research study there are five outcomes; 1. Purposely address and manage the amount of accumulated GED completers' social and cultural capital through learning communities. 2. Address GED completers' non-academic challenges which includes admissions, mentoring, counseling advising and on campus engagement. 3. Address GED completers' level of college confidence, motivation and internal locus of control. 4. Address GED completers Academic challenges. 5. Address GED completers' Economic situation and financial needs e.g. child care, paying for tuition, books, fees and/or transportation.


Imported from ProQuest Weatherspoon_ilstu_0092E_10421.pdf

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