Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)
Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)
This study used newly collected survey data from the Perceptions of Educational Barrier Scale – Revised (PEB-R; Gibbons, 2005) to examine the reported educational barriers of students who are currently enrolled at the University of Midwest and who graduated from one of the five designated rural high schools in Forest County, Illinois. The research sample consisted of 29 students. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between the PEB-R mean scores of reported educational barriers to post-secondary opportunities of historically underrepresented students who graduated from any of the five rural high schools in Forest County and of non-historically underrepresented students who graduated from any of the five rural high schools in Forest County who are enrolled at the University of Midwest. Of the five rural high schools in the county, two are independent and three are consolidated. The second question in the study examined the relationship between the PEB-R mean scores of historically underrepresented students who graduated from independent high schools and of historically underrepresented students who graduated from consolidated schools. The study used independent t-tests for both research questions. The t-tests were used to measure the PEB-R mean scores and compare the two groups’ mean scores on the PEB-R. The results of this study indicated no statistical significance in reported educational barriers for historically underrepresented students compared to non-historically underrepresented students, and no statistical differences in reported educational barriers for historically underrepresented students who graduated from independent high schools compared to historically underrepresented students who graduated from consolidated high schools. Student demographic information and PEB-R sub-scale data collected during the study allowed for further analyses and additional findings. Students who listed one or more people as unsupportive in attending a post-secondary institution experienced more barriers than those who did not record a person who did not support them. Also, based on PEB-R subscores, respondents in the study reported experiencing 18 of the 45 barriers had mean scores of 2.0 or above, indicating a relatively high experience of this barrier to furthering the student’s education. An examination of the barriers with mean scores at or above 2.0 identified several barrier themes that seemed to impact this group of participants. All three of the barriers under the theme of finances had the highest means making this theme the main concern for attending post-secondary education.
Ash, Tracy, "Forest County’s Historically Underrepresented Rural Students and Barriers to College" (2023). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7125.
Northern Illinois University
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