Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Gregory Hamilton, Ed.D.

Committee Members

Rodney Goodyear, Ph.D.

Alayne Sullivan, Ph.D.


AVID Excel, English learners, middle school students, California, Latinos/as, language


Educational Leadership


Low English learner (EL) reclassification rates afflict American schools and adversely affect these students' higher education attainability. About two-thirds of ELs in the nation do not reclassify their language status to English proficient in spite of being in U.S. classrooms for at least six years. These students compose the schooling epidemic of Long-term English learners (LTELs). LTELs experience disproportionately high drop-out rates and numerous barriers that prevent their acceptance into post-secondary institutions. To improve reclassification rates, the AVID Excel program was created. ACID Excel also aimed to help LTELs become college bound students. This study examined how 7th and 8th grade Latinos/as at Harvest Unified School District (pseudonym) perceived the program's strategies as helping them exit LTEL status and potentially making them college bound students using interviews and focus groups. The study also focused on students' identity experiences if any occurred as a result of participation in the program. Results indicate that students in AVID Excel experience an awakening from their initial participation in the program's Summer Bridge. These LTEL students learn that to get to college they have to work hard and strategically in both their English language acquisition and academic gains. Additionally, these students realize that previous EL practices are not the only way to learn English and they overwhelmingly prefer AVID Excel methods believing that the academic and non-academic lessons they learn in AVID Excel are all making them English proficient and college bound.


© 2016 Yuliana J. Guerra

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Dissertation Location