In 2020, Dr. Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman published her doctoral dissertation titled, "Dual Enrolled African American Homeschooled Students' Perceptions of Preparedness for Community College." The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to capture African American homeschooled students’ perceptions of preparedness for community college. While dual enrolled, homeschooled students are not a monolith, variations exist among their individual experiences. Their placement outside of the traditional schooling paradigm presented a fresh perspective when examining student perceptions of preparedness and college transition.

This study was analyzed using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a lens and Weidman’s model of undergraduate socialization as a design tool. Findings in this study include five specific indicators of preparedness that revolve around the ability to demonstrate (1) effective communication with faculty and peers, (2) effective time management, (3) timely and competent coursework completion, (4) self-awareness of academic strengths and interests and (5) cultural identity and awareness.

Why is this Study Important?

Dr. Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman's doctoral dissertation, "Dual Enrolled African American Homeschooled Students' Perceptions of Preparedness for Community College," provides valuable insights that are crucial for both the education sector and homeschooling parents. Here are several reasons why this information is important:

For the Education Sector:
  1. Understanding Diverse Educational Pathways:
    • The study highlights the experiences of African American homeschooled students, a group often underrepresented in educational research. This helps educators and policymakers understand the diverse educational pathways and needs of students outside the traditional schooling system.
  2. Enhancing College Readiness Programs:
    • The findings identify specific indicators of preparedness, such as effective communication, time management, and cultural identity awareness. These insights can be used to develop targeted college readiness programs that address these key areas, improving student transitions to higher education.
  3. Incorporating CRT in Education:
    • Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a lens, the study underscores the importance of considering race and cultural identity in educational research and practice. This encourages the education sector to adopt more inclusive and equitable approaches to teaching and learning.
  4. Supporting Dual Enrollment Programs:
    • The research sheds light on the benefits and challenges of dual enrollment for homeschooled students. This information can be used to design better support systems and resources for dual-enrolled students, ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed in both high school and college.
For Homeschooling Parents:
  1. Benchmarking Preparedness:
    • Homeschooling parents can use the study's findings as benchmarks for assessing their own children's preparedness for college. By focusing on the five specific indicators, parents can tailor their homeschooling practices to better equip their children for higher education.
  2. Holistic Education Approaches:
    • The research emphasizes the importance of not just academic skills but also self-awareness, cultural identity, and communication skills. Homeschooling parents can incorporate these elements into their curriculum, ensuring a more holistic approach to education.
  3. Effective Curriculum Design:
    • Understanding the areas where homeschooled students feel prepared or unprepared can help parents design more effective curricula. They can prioritize activities and lessons that develop effective communication, time management, and other identified skills.
  4. Advocacy and Community Building:
    • Armed with research-backed data, homeschooling parents can advocate for resources and support within their communities and educational systems. They can also connect with other homeschooling families to share strategies and build supportive networks.
  5. Addressing Individual Needs:
    • The study acknowledges the variations among homeschooled students' experiences. This reinforces the importance of personalized education plans that cater to the unique strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds of each child.

Overall, Dr. Ali-Coleman's dissertation provides a framework that both the education sector and homeschooling parents can use to enhance the educational experiences and outcomes of homeschooled students, particularly those from African American backgrounds.