Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Paul Baker


The research problem for this study was to understand the role of a new category of institutional agents, post-secondary coaches in high schools, who facilitate students' college readiness. This comparative case study focused on two post-secondary coaches in two high schools participating with a university in a state-funded grant project to improve college readiness. Data collection included structured interviews with coaches, students, and other school and external personnel; written descriptions by coaches of how they do their jobs; observations with field notes taken while shadowing coaches; and relevant documents, websites and artifacts. Data analysis involved both open coding and the application of a social capital coding framework, with results compared for both methods and cases. Triangulation across data sources improved reliability. The study provided data for developing a theory of the post-secondary coaches' work in the contexts of their respective schools. Coaching in a "brokering" high school that proactively provides tailored supports for students was more likely to generate social capital for the coach and college-going resources for students than coaching in a "clearinghouse" high school that offers services and information, but leaves action up to the students.


Imported from ProQuest Haeffele_ilstu_0092E_10172.pdf


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