Perceptions, Motivations, and Achievement of African American Students Enrolled in a Middle College High School Public Deposited

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  • September 26, 2019
  • Bruce, Lori
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Historically, African American students have been underserved in our nation's public schools. Due to the accountability expectations of the 2001 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, greater awareness and attention has been given to the racial achievement gap and disparities among high school dropouts and postsecondary education. The Middle College High School design has been in existence since 1972, beginning with LaGuardia Community College in Long Island, New York. NCLB accountability has brought more attention to secondary school achievement and a sense of urgency regarding school reform and nontraditional school designs and structures. In the past three decades of the middle-college high school concept, the goals of reducing the drop-out rate, increasing graduation and college attendance rates, and improving student performance and self-esteem have been researched and proven effective. A variety of instructional strategies are used to help students make the connection between high school graduation and college or work in a "seamless" curriculum. In this study, 12 African American seniors that attended Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) Middle College High School (MCHS) were interviewed about their perceptions regarding their school experiences. Student interviews, school records, and school archival documents were used to analyze the data within the blended theoretical framework of resiliency and self-efficacy theory created by the researcher. The research question in this study was: How do students perceive that the Guilford Technical Community College Middle College High School structure impacted their academic achievement and internal motivation to achieve educational success in high school and pursue postsecondary educational opportunities? The analysis of the research data offered emerging themes, implications for practice, and recommendations from which educators may improve their service. The interpretation of the data revealed four overarching themes from the voices of the 12th grade African American student participants, finding that the school structure at GTCC MCHS: (a) enabled healthy relationships between and among teachers and students, (b) enabled students to identify themselves as smart and mature, (c) gave students close access to college courses and resources to pursue postsecondary opportunities, (d) enabled students to embrace personal responsibility and the self-efficacy necessary to achieve their educational goals.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Malloy, William W.
  • Doctor of Education
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education
Graduation year
  • 2007

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