Experiences of middle and high school avid students from an urban South Texas school district who played college ready-the game




Reynolds-Perez, Cecilia (Cissy)


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The college education gap between Latinas/os and whites has grown to 29 percentage points (Kolodner, 2017). I am a product of this gap. As a high school principal, I believe the solution to this problem lies within the creative minds of school principals/leaders. When a resource was not available to address the college readiness gap at my campus, I created one. The resource I created is College Ready-the Game. You can create one too!

The purpose of this qualitative study is to discover the experiences of middle and high school AVID students who played College Ready-the Game. John Dewey’s theory of pragmatism guided the study. The intent behind the development of College Ready-the Game was to create a vocabulary resource that students can learn by doing.

The methodological framework was based upon tenets of Action Research. Patterns of experiences from participants of the same social group (students in the AVID program) that had played the college-ready game were observed through an interpretivist lens. Data from interviews were unitized and sorted into categories.
Secondary AVID classrooms who most widely use the game were chosen for the selection of participants. The classrooms are located in Title I and Non-Title I campuses to help ensure diversity of the participants.

The emergent patterns of responses conclude the following: • Game-play of College Ready-the Game sparked conversations that developed college-ready vocabulary.
• Physical movement, competition, and repetition of game-play motivated students to learn college-ready vocabulary. • Community of inquiry and a college-going culture were established through game-play. • Bank of college-ready vocabulary empowered students to participate in college-talk and earn social and cultural capital.
• The social and cultural capital led the students to the critical predisposition stage to pursue college with their counselors, peers and parents.

While the study adds to the literature of college readiness, future qualitative studies are recommended to uncover the experiences from a variety of student and parent populations, such as speakers of other languages. Longitudinal quantitative studies are recommended to discover the effects of students who play College Ready-the Game throughout their school years.



college readiness, education, educational games, principals, teacher, vocabulary



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