Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. David Bangs


The purpose of this study was to add to the research available related to college readiness. Each of the four hypotheses were constructed to determine the predictive effects of academic program type (honors or regular) over and above the predictive effects of gender, Plan test scores, number of times the ACT was taken by individuals, and longevity in years on mathematics, English, science, and reading performance measured by ACT scores for 12th grade students in a private Christian school in Arkansas. A review of the literature identified the various aspects of college readiness, the characteristics of effective programs for college readiness, and the implications of such programs on providing students with college readiness knowledge and skills.

A quantitative, hierarchical regression strategy was used to analyze the data collected for each of the four hypotheses. Hierarchical regression allowed the researcher to parcel out the predictive contribution of one factor over and above the contributions of other factors. The results indicated, in stage 1 of the hierarchical regression, all four hypotheses explained a significant portion of performance on the ACT subject area test. Results ranged from 66 % in Hypothesis 4 to 78% in Hypothesis 2. Therefore, collectively the factors included in stage 1 provided a strong basis for explaining ACT testing performance and college readiness. Of the factors included, the Plan test score was the most robust covariate in all four hypotheses. The strong correlation between the Plan test and ACT performance in this study adds to the validation that the Plan test is an effective predictor of ACT performance.

In stage 2 of the hierarchical regression, program type was added to the model. The addition of program type added to the models’ explanation in Hypotheses 1-4. This increased explanation was statistically significant, which required the rejection of the null hypothesis in each case. However, although each hypothesis was statistically significant, the results in each case were not of practical significance.

Many of the studies reviewed revealed a greater effectiveness in academic program type than this study discovered. Academic program types might generally affect students' college readiness; however, these findings revealed that academic program type, even though it did not add practical significance to the model, when paired with gender, Plan test scores, number of times the ACT was taken by an individual, explained a significant portion of ACT performance and college readiness. Thus, future studies could provide broader understanding of college readiness by the variables included in this study and other relevant variables with larger more diverse populations.

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