Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Dr. Marietta DelFavero (deceased)

Second Advisor

Dr. Tammie Causey-Konate`

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy Clare Thoreson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Leonard Williams

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Richard B. Speaker



Examining the efficacy of literacy improvement, general education development (GED) completion, and GED completers’ perceptions of college readiness and social capital was the purpose of this study. The participant sample (n=321), derived from the target population (N=1050), consisted of former participants of Adult Literacy Education (ALE)/GED programs in the Greater New Orleans area (GNO), who have earned the GED credential, and, are currently enrolled in entry-level courses at two community colleges in Southeast Louisiana; specifically, in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes. The study was framed by the social capital theoretical perspective.

The study used quantitative methodology, with a descriptive, cross-sectional research design. Specific quantitative analyses were employed including; descriptive statistics which were used to characterize the sample and to describe the features of the data; preliminary analysis using principal axis factoring (PAF), to determine survey items that cluster together and to identify relevant factors that influence perceptions of college readiness and social capital; Cronbach’s alpha, to test internal consistency and reliability of the survey instrument; regression analysis, to investigate the relationships between GED completers’ perceptions of college readiness and social capital and their literacy level; and finally, a one-way ANOVA, to compare the means of groups within literacy levels. Using a researcher-created survey instrument with a Likert scale rating of 1-4, perceptions of college readiness and social capital of GED completers were assessed. A field test of 10 participants and an expert panel review ensured validity and reliability of the instrument. The results of this study could serve as a framework for strategic planning of ALE/GED programs, ALE/GED curriculum alignment with high school content and entry-level introductory or developmental college courses, and post-secondary (community college) recruitment endeavors.


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