School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Sharon Michael-Chadwell


American College Testing (ACT), Control Value Theory (CVT), Critical Race Theory (CRT), Grade Point Average (GPA), SAT, black students, low ses, low socioeconomic status, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), Socioeconomic Status (SES)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of the proposed qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the perception and lived experience of low-socioeconomic Black college freshmen concerning their access to college preparation resources in the Southwest Georgia area. The theories used are the control-value theory, sociocultural learning theory, and critical race theory, as it focuses on the impact student's achievement emotions have on their academic performance. The phenomenology research design described how students feel their low-SES status impacts their standardized college readiness scores. A sample pool of an urban first-year college class were used with an average of 120 students, while the sample size for this study was 12 students. The type of sampling used to decrease this sampling pool to 12 participants was the purposive judgment sampling procedure. Urban University (pseudonym) in Atlanta, Georgia, was the setting for this study due to its high number of low-SES students in attendance. In addition, this institution was a public university. It has a president as the institution's leader, deans as the leaders of each college, and professors leading specific subjects in each classroom. For the research data sources, I used document analysis, interviews, and focus groups in this study to collect data from students. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used when completing the data analysis to provide insight into how the participants make sense of the given phenomenon.