Date of Award

Spring 2-5-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Floralba Marrero, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Amanda Sailors, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Becky Copper, Ed.D.


This qualitative multiple case study explored the experiences of eight students as they transitioned from high school to college. Eight students from an urban high school in the southern United States agreed to participate in this study. Participants were high-achieving students, 18 years of age, who participated in a teacher preparation class and took the MSLQ for a class project during the last semester of their senior year of high school. The researcher collected and triangulated data to ensure reliability: archival MSLQ scores from the participants’ senior year, open-ended interviews after the participants’ first year of college, document review of syllabi as well as college websites, and college course observations. Four themes emerged in this study including high-school preparation, college academic readiness, college emotional readiness, and navigating independence. Additionally, eleven subthemes deepened the understanding of the thematic analysis of the participants’ experiences. The results of the study revealed that students who take college preparatory classes in high school are more prepared for the high-performance, postsecondary education demands. However, they are not emotionally ready to meet the time constraints, separation from friends and family, and independence a college environment requires. The study can suggest, based on student perceptions, improvements in the high-school course of study that can help students be successful in their transition to higher education.