Stories of resilience: Accessing college readiness through advanced placement courses
AdvisorPatterson, Jean A.
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Students populating AP programs in urban communities do not reflect schools’ demographic makeup. Many underrepresented students with the potential to succeed do not access or complete AP programs. However, some have participated and done well. This study employed a narrative inquiry qualitative design to explore underrepresented students' educational experiences who have successfully accessed college readiness opportunities through AP participation in high school. Narrative inquiry allowed me to examine students' lived experiences and their perceptions of the influence of school protective factors, including caring relationships, high expectations, and opportunities for meaningful participation. Academic Resilience was selected as the Theoretical framework because it attempts to explain why some students perform better and achieve academic success despite having experienced adversity and risk while others do not. The students in this study experienced caring relationships and high expectations within their home and school environments. The students exhibited a strong belief in themselves and their future orientation. The students were intrinsically motivated and driven to succeed in school. Overall, experiences with risk and adversity in school did not play a significant role in these students' lives. It is suggested that educators pay attention to what was revealed from the narratives of this study and begin building on them: 1) underrepresented students can access and succeed in AP program; 2) access and opportunity gaps exist for students in AP participation; 3) relationships with teachers matter; 4) students exhibited the ability to adapt; and 5) students demonstrated academic resilience through COVID-19 pandemic. By highlighting students' experiences and academic success stories in this study, underrepresented students in other urban school districts may experience similar academic opportunities.
Thesis (Ed.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology