First Advisor

Robert B. Everhart

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration


Educational Leadership and Policy




College-school cooperation -- United States, Minorities -- Education -- United States, People with social disabilities -- Education -- United States



Physical Description

3, viii, 246 leaves 28 cm.


This study focused on "comprehensive" partnerships between K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions created to improve the pre-college academic preparation, college enrollment and postsecondary success of minority and disadvantaged students. The study identified such partnerships in existence in the United States for more than five years, surveyed the partnerships to describe their characteristics, and selected two of the most successful to analyze their success characteristics. Sixteen such partnerships were identified and surveyed with a 12-item questionnaire designed to inquire about their: (a) structural characteristics, (b) funding, (c) success in achieving their goals and objectives, and (d) collection of data to measure success. Three key informants from each partnership were surveyed. Forty of 48 surveys were returned, for a return rate of 82%. Responses were tabulated to ascertain the degree to which these partnerships had been successful in achieving their goals and identify the areas in which they experienced success. Two of the most successful partnerships were selected for case studies and visited to collect information about the factors that affected their success and to interview five key participants who represented schools and postsecondary institutions in each of the partnerships. An interview protocol was used to probe the degree to which the characteristics of partnerships success identified in the literature (Van de Water, 1989) were present and effected the case study partnerships. Analysis of the surveys, partnership materials, and the interviews provided a comprehensive portrait of each of the study partnerships. Results of the surveys indicate that a majority of these partnerships; consider themselves at least somewhat successful in achieving their goals, and have improved high school preparation and college enrollments. They are, however, less informed about their success in increasing college retention and graduation. The case studies and interviews revealed that the partnerships valued the success characteristics identified in the literature. The most salient characteristics required for success were the existence of leadership capable of negotiating change within several institutions with different organizational cultures, and the need to recognize that partnerships are unique organizations with some of the same peculiarities, structures and needs as other organizations.


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