Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Marcus Lam, PhD, Co-Chair; Ian Martin, EdD, Co-Chair; Wendell Callahan, PhD; Antonio Jimenez Luque, PhD


college readiness, first–generation students, Catholic institutions, private school, program implementation, self-efficacy, community building, social capital


The Department of Education’s 2018 report on the “Condition of Education” indicated nearly 60% of all children under the age of 18 had parents without a bachelor’s degree. When the statistics were broken down by race, the numbers were far higher. For Black children, that number was 74%; for Hispanic children, that number was 79%; for Pacific islander, it was 78%; and for American Indian/Alaska native, it was 80%. This gap in education has had a tremendous economic impact on families, reverberating through generations. According to Georgetown’s 2015 study on the economics of college majors, a college graduate makes $1 million more than a high school graduate (Carnevale et al., 2015). In addition, the study indicated a difference of $3.4 million in income between the highest and lowest paying majors. One way to bridge this gap is through improving college readiness of these students.

Existing bridge programs like TRiO, Upward Bound, and summer bridge have shown success in improving college readiness. Upward Bound and Upward Bound math and science programs reported 86% of their participants from the 2013–2014 high school cohort immediately enrolled in a postsecondary education program.

Current research has found programs focusing on college readiness have indeed helped. Many of these studies on college readiness programs have focused on student academic preparation, parental involvement, and school supports (e.g., college counseling, course selection). There has been comparatively less research focused on extracurricular programs aimed at fostering individual student traits, such as self-efficacy.

This study focused on a college readiness program conducted at an area parochial school in San Diego County. The case study addressed the program’s role in fostering self-efficacy

among student participants and examined organizational level factors leading to successful implementation.

This research was important because it provided further insight into the role self-efficacy can play in a college bridge program and identified organizational factors that are barriers to or help with implementation.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies