Public colleges for educational access in Colorado
Wellman, Michelle L., author
Cross, Jennifer E., advisor
Peek, Lori, committee member
Felix, Oscar, committee member
This thesis explores the frameworks for university-funded educational access programs in Colorado. Through the use of qualitative methods, I conduct a case study of 6 access programs, their practitioners, and their undergraduate student volunteers. I examine the values and social position of access practitioners as well as their ability to work across traditional social and institutional boundaries. Employing a network analytic approach, I examine and conceptualize the structure and connectivity of both federal Trio and university-funded access programs. My research shows that both Trio and access programs are well positioned for mutually beneficial collaborations. This includes access providing services for Trio parents and families and Trio sharing program evaluation metrics with access programs. Additionally, access programs have a unique ability capacity to recruit and retain students because of their position within universities. Finally, recommendations are made for access program transferability and sustainability. Near-peer mentoring and provide culturally-relevant programs are highly exportable aspects of access programs. In order to sustain access programs, practitioners should link their program to university strategic priorities while also involving high-level university officials in program development and assessment.