Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Second Advisor

James R. Bliss

Third Advisor

Thomas D. Shelton


The linguistic diversity that began with immigration in the early 20th century continues today. The impact of this growing population is directly affecting the economy and workforce in our nation. This dissertation focused on the college readiness of graduating English language learner (ELL) students in one western mountain state. The variables of gender, language proficiency levels, and free or reduced lunch status were studied, seeking to understand if those variables were independent of ELL students being college ready. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the ACT test scores for 668 English language learner graduates. A Chi-Square test for independence was also used to determine the level independence among the variables and college readiness. After analyzing the ACT scores, it was evident that many ELL graduates were not college ready at graduation. The variables of gender, language proficiency, and free or reduced lunch status statistically impact college readiness. However, the variable of gender had the least impact on college readiness status for ELL graduates. The study concluded with the recommendations for policies and practices that may better prepare the ELL student for college.