Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



In the United States,the American College Test (ACT)is a standardized test that is used primarily as an indicator of college readiness and as a gauge for college admission. The governing bodies for Louisiana’s public schools—The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE)and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)—made the ACT a requirement—effective spring 2013—for Louisiana’s public high school 11th grade students regardless of their postsecondary intentions. The primary purpose of this study was to ascertain from Louisiana high school seniors’ whether the Louisiana Department of Education’s ACT mandate is perceived as a factor influencing their postsecondary decisions or affecting their postsecondary trajectory. A qualitative case study was used for this research. The cases were two Louisiana schools which were designated by the Louisiana Department of Education as economically disadvantaged. One economically disadvantaged school from two different school districts was included in this research. The study participants were seniors who participated in the mandatory ACT in the 11th grade and were at least 18 years of age. Six seniors from each school—for a total of twelve participants—were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The interviews were conducted at the school site during normal school operation hours. Participants in this study indicated that the ACT mandate was not a determinant in their postsecondary decisions, in relation to what they wanted to do after high school. The participants, however, did indicate that their ACT outcomes were affecting their postsecondary education route or choices. All of the participants, except one indicated that they were planning to attend college, regardless of the ACT mandate. The participants perceived the attainment of a specific ACT score as an admission requirement—to the institutions of their choice—as the factor affecting their postsecondary trajectories.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland W.



Included in

Education Commons