The Effect of Creating a College-Going Environment

Subject: Education
Pages: 25
Words: 7100
Reading time:
26 min
Study level: PhD


The US education system is in crisis with declining graduation rates for numerous reasons – whilst the recent economic downturn has made the crisis more serious, the universities increased their tuition fees four to five times above the regular cost. Due to diminishing public funding in the universities and rising costs, they are inflexible to reduce the raised tuition fees. The 4-year college degree turned almost unaffordable for the students, for which the country is experiencing high dropout rates at graduation level; on the other hand, the students are in emergency for 4-year college skills, which are necessary for getting a good job. The proposed dissertation has aimed to test the impact of adopting non-academic college skills at the elementary stage as an alternative to the crisis.

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Dissertation Proposal

The purpose of this dissertation proposal is to generate the right direction towards the changing dynamics of educational aspirations of the students in the United States by providing a college-going environment at the elementary level; the paper will analyze the factors that influence student’s motivation in joining four-year college degree for future career success. The colleges in the USA conducting 4-year degrees are under superior pressure than ever before for enlarging and boosting the value chain with affordable tuition fees, whilst the students at 4-year college degrees have already achieved advanced inspiration to take college degree from a renowned institution that has a success rate in the job market for a better life.

The USA Today (2013) reported that the ‘skyrocketing rise’ of college education expenditure in the USA has generated serious fear among its citizens and threatened the students for not to spare tuition for four-year; although the growing cost isn’t the only dilemma faced by the college education services, the recessionary impact followed by the global financial crisis has brought it at focus. Other crises and poor performances of the US college education are not just a matter of policymakers or researchers, but the people are deeply concerned with the letdowns of universities and US colleges from their financial prospects and even failed to keep any accurate direction to recover the economic meltdown through social stability or pubic quest towards an equitable society. The USA Today (2013, p.1) also pointed presented survey data that illustrated 89% of US adults strongly believe that the overall higher education sector is in deep crisis, 54% urges that the education sector is going to a wrong path, while 96% of the educationalists expressed that the sector is in severe crisis which may not be resolved overnight.

The Economist (2012, p.3) that the US college and universities have increased their tuition fees at an unaffordable stage that has accounted 23% to 38% annually that has seriously injured the quality of graduates and hampered the smooth access to a college degree by the talents and increased huge burden of debts on students. In 2011, the fee- structure stood at the five times of 1983 with an average debt burden of US$ 26,000 per student; whilst 57% was able to obtain their four-year college degree within six years, due to intolerable debt risk, workload, and recessionary impact, the students were vulnerable to demonstrate well performance at their academia. Although half of the world’s top100 universities are situated in the USA, the country has been providing very poor performance in relation to the international standards due to lack of further investment and prolonged debt burden, while in 2008 the private lenders allocated US$ 20 billion of education loan from where they get back only $6 billion by 2012. Due to the rising unemployment rate and job cut, the student who already achieved their four-year college degree has failed to return their education loan and they racked up US$1 trillion of debt while the universities did not get any rescue package for the financial crisis, even the state governments cut back their educational grants that made the situation further complicated.

The statistical data of USED (2013) and TEN (2013) demonstrated that the numbers of institutions that are providing four-year college degrees are aggregate 2719, among them, 652 are public institutions and 2067 are from the private sector, among the privates there are 1537 non-profit and 530 institutions are for-profit, there is a huge number of institutions that provide two years graduation. Although the country has the highest number of higher educational institutes, Swanson (2010) and Shults (2008) added that the rate of US graduation has been declining every day, three out of ten students fail to attain their degree, and the number of droops out is 1.3 million; consequently, the nation is in threat with its graduation crisis. This data illustrates that the education sector is under severe challenge and urged for more insights of the policymakers, working groups, communities, and all other stakeholders to identify the roots of the crisis and boost student’s effectiveness to survive with the changed reality and prepare them to fill up knowledge gaps with appropriate information for further study and career plan. Providing a college-going environment at the elementary schools could be a way out to provide exact information to the students necessary for their career planning and future education on a right track.

There is a very large number of higher education research with the education system of the USA, but the existing higher educational literature has not yet been tested the hypothesis ‘creating a college-going environment at the elementary school’ could enhance the educational aspirations on right track integrating with factors motivating students to join at college degrees for better job placement. This dissertation proposal has taken up to testing this issue and aimed to synchronize an agreement that results in the most beneficial resolution acceptable to the students to attain a sustainable value chain for their college degree that would enable them to take the increasing challenge of the concurrent job market. It also aimed to generalize the standard of factors that influence the students to select a future academic plan for higher education addressing the social economic and family factors with a clear understanding from the theoretical viewpoint and practical data from the survey.

On the other hand, the anticipated research with the present crisis of education sector in the USA would integrate the existing higher education model, interdependency of elementary and college education, impact of K-12 educational environment, student’s motivation model along with theoretical arguments aimed to provide best solutions to overcome existing crisis facilitating selection and recruitment criteria in the job market.

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Why this is Important

Lotkowski, Robbins & Noeth (2004) argued that the non-academic factors of the student’s academic skills, their self-assurance, educational aspiration, academic goals with social support at the elementary level have greater influence to develop broader engagement and positive attitude to the college degree and could ensure a positive relationship with future career design, where institutional commitment is at the core of such enlargement. Institutional commitment along with financial support has remarkably reduced greater than ever, rather the tuition fees raised at a sky-scraping range that is not affordable for mass people, to overcome such crisis if the college skill without academic factors is adopted in the elementary school, there is a chance to have a way out to mitigate the current dilemmas. It is very clear that the elementary schools could not contribute the academic factors of the college degree, but they have the greater potentiality to develop the skills of non-academic factors with their framework, pointing to the student characteristics and requests they could set priorities from the identified area and provide an evaluative program to fix a better solution. However, the following table gives more details in this regard:

1 It is essential to note that according to Pathak and Pathak (2010), some superior learning bodies are basically specialized assistance providers and these are going under a significant transformation internationally whereas the conventional nature of public-funded universities arguing “education – not a profit-making exercise” has been abolishing globally replacing with bulk investment where profit is the ultimate destiny of the institutes
2 On the other hand, another necessary thing is to consider the fact that the inspiration of the learners has moreover reallocated from ‘wisdom is power’ and they are moving on to superior learning bodies with the intention to boast qualifications from a renowned institution that could provide better job opportunity – it is highly alarming that the commercialization of education sector has reached a state where the service providers are rising their costs out of service seekers purchasing power
3 One of the interesting points to note is that UNESCO (2009) has put forward a detailed investigation on current superior learning drift internationally and acknowledged an extraordinary branch out of superior learning in order to satisfy the increasing demand of superior learning services involving with the understanding of national needs and financial resources available to the public to effort their cost, although the higher education policies worldwide aligned with the debate of the quality of education including performance
4 According to the view of Shults (2008), in the USA, the higher education strategy of the institutions is more troubled with the more and further hostile strategies of the trustees and administration that seems not to work under the disobedient environments with extra burden high paid executives those are insufficient to face the challenge of quick-shifting knowledge industry is under serious recessionary impact
5 Highly paid executives are the most troublesome element in the economic downturn for which the institutes couldn’t succeed to execute cost-cutting strategy while the mass people are arguing to integrate optimistic technological requirements, psychology motivation, cheering organizational scholarships, and positive organizational behavior at the college and universities that could offer students’ needs at an affordable cost.
6 On the other hand, the most remarkable dilemmas of the educational institutes’ are that they have basically mistreated to take into consideration the cost-cutting policy of their own, rather they aimed to impose a burden on the prospective students while they are at the focal point of any higher educational research
7 The higher education research has no research agenda yet to support students to overcome crisis; even there are no initiatives to test the validity of the upper educational environment at the lower segment; therefore, foremost research loopholes are present to incorporate the aspects affecting the choices of the elementary students and organizing them with value-chain of college education
8 Above- mentioned loopholes will possibly be attained by the progression of the students’ motivational level and skills development at the elementary school providing a college-going environment and recognizing matters those bring enhancement of student’s value-chain and such studies will be capable to quantify the short along with long-run costs and benefits for them to attain college degree as an ultimate success for the job market
9 Therefore, the proposal of the study is highly significant to seeking to explore the literature on harmonization of advanced education value-chain as well as models where parents and students will be the motivating issues; moreover, an elementary school with college collaboration including career shifting dynamics of the students at higher education that would eventually facilitate the study for grounding with new findings

Current impediments

The current impediments of the present research proposal are illustrated in the table below:

Table 1: Current Impediments of the Proposed Research

Area of Impediments Nature
Education Policy Confusing and contradictory nature of US education policy;
Institutional Strategy The inflexible and ambiguous financial strategy of the universities and colleges;
Previous Research There are no existing approaches to mitigate educational crisis;
Value Chain Institutional value chains are not voluntarily accessible for students and there is no imitative to motivate students from the decision-makers yet; while the existing offers of the universities within their value chain management are not satisfactory for mass people and the obligatory and wide-ranging data are not usually available;
Financing Policy Scope of education loans are continuously decreasing followed by the stagnant payback rate;
Data Sources There is no available data that could prove or disprove the reality of success to mitigate the crisis by adopting a college-going environment at the elementary schools, accessible data may not be pertinent to the precise factors touching the students’ decision-making process in the recessionary economy;
Existing Model Existing approaches of college value chain management and growing demand for such degree needs a complex model that is essential to have vast efforts to assemble coordination amongst the factors distressing the student’s decision-making process;

Goals and Aspiration

The major goals and aspirations for this research proposal are to generate good grace obtainable to support to the students’ competent for a prestigious college degree and capable to take the challenge of the job market and to improve the students’ value chain in the recruitment market for their obtainable college degree. Other essential factors are – prop up the verdict for any further enhancement of environment within knowledge industry and input them in the elementary school to identify the influential factors and to diminish the efforts of students and reduce institutional complexities that are indispensable to hold up the competitive advantage for joining at a 4-year college degree. At the same time, the prime objectives of the dissertation are- accomplish the best research outcomes in the right direction with minimum affordable time without any interruption of the coherence and to make the right use of such available information those are voluntarily offered by the Department of Education to generate higher educational value chain in the recruitment market processed. Finally, it contributes the policymakers, higher educational institutes, Ministry of Higher Education with a depth understanding and strong alternative to mitigate the concurrent crisis and to formulate their higher education policy to preserve an open-end framework of research for adopting college environment in the elementary school with the aim to addressing students’ need and to raising those factors for future research.

What is Not New

The fundamental process of research in the field of social science that would be integrated into the proposed dissertation is not a new thing along with the basic concepts of the value chain of the recruitment market for higher education such as 4-year college degree has already been used in different research in the area of education. Moreover, the Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment process for the higher education considered minimum 4-year college degree, technological process improvements for the US universities, available public and private research data of most current education progression, and the progression simulation framework of higher education those would be adopted in the proposed dissertation are not new.

What is New

Obviously, the selected dissertation topic is a fresh area of educational research that none has ever addressed, moreover, the framework that has been deliberated for this proposal is a new approach in this are based on depth understanding, but a very simple structure with the aim to attract general readers. Moreover, the evaluations of factors those are identified to support students to encounter with the present crisis of joining college degree, the prearranged set of choices that maintain coordination to enrich the knowledge industry, the well-researched synchronization, and the structured belongings to step up the technique to assemble the inspiring factors to the students to continue their college degree.

The proposed study will significantly illustrate the perceptions of the factors affecting the students at elementary schools would be motivated to join at the 4-year college degree when most of the universities and colleges in the USA have perilously increased their tuition fees without sharing their corporate social responsibility to the students while they were upset with the economic downturn. The proposed dissertation to input college environment at elementary school would be organized with six major Chapters mentioned below and there should be several sub-chapters in every section, there should be some other sections such as acknowledgments, abstract and appendix.

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Problem Statement

The education sector of the USA has been going through a long-lasting crisis that seriously reduced the graduation rate of the country, one of the major crises is raising tuition fees at US universities that directly affected the students to attain college degrees for unaffordable costs, but the students are eager to attain college for a better job. The first chapter of this proposed dissertation would scrutinize the nature of the ongoing crisis, how the problem concentrated, and design the possible way out of organizing the paper with an extensive study on higher education developed and backed by the educational aspirations from the elementary level and endow with the fundamental theories along with hypothetical agendas for the assumed research. The ‘chapter-1, problem statement’ would logically generate the research questions, identify and assert the most significant limitations and obtainable scope for this study; describe and specifies the theoretical terms used in this dissertation proposal; to address the topic: ‘The effect of creating a college-going environment at the elementary school level on students’ educational aspirations’, these cheaper raises following research questions-

Firstly, to what extent does the theoretical framework of higher education influence the educational aspirations of the students’ motivational level for the future prospects of career development.

Secondly, how does the national education policy influence the institutions to raise tuition fees at an unaffordable stage for students, and thirdly, to what extent the adoption of college skills at the elementary level would overcome the present crisis?

Relevant Literature Review

This literature review of the proposed dissertation would explore the theories of elementary and college education; its diverse models with the aim to identify their interdependency that integrate with the student’s motivation theories and allow the higher education environment to function at the elementary schools to identify the factors those novitiate students to join in the colleges.

Flouri & Panourgia (2012, p.7) and Hamza (2009) argued that educational aspiration among the elementary school students are deeply concerned with parental expectations and societal norms where they broad up while educational investment opportunities, associated poverty, and school motivations have had greater influence to selecting their carrier path. At the post-elementary level, the students gain significant development of their sociological and physiological attachments and they become more realistic with their own interest, gained capabilities, perceived cognitions, and personal characteristics that could influence them to change the family adopted carrier path towards an elevated career ambition, although the family poverty has a strong accord with higher career aspirations. The student with such shifting dynamics would encounter greater challenges and get very limited opportunities at the college level that may generate emotional and behavioral dilemmas; thus, it is rational to assess the effect of creating a college-going environment at the elementary school level on students’ educational aspirations.

Beal & Crockett (2010, p.1) explored that the college and higher education performance and attachments of the elementary school students are greatly influenced by the educational aspirations and expectations at the early level, which is an important time for adolescence to explore their planning for the future and keep their continuous effort for significant development tasks aligned with their future dreams. In elementary school, students get the opportunity to participate in common events, experience the school environment by interacting with other students, teachers, and peers; rather than the texts; they learn social interaction and develop interpersonal skills that gradually turn the adolescents into adulthood based on the learning outcomes of that level while the college students are evidenced with self-efficacy beliefs. Thus, it is a vital question in the college-going environment is provided at elementary school, what would the outcomes, whether it keeps any positive belonging to the educational aspirations or hamper the existing domain is a major concern, this research has aimed to resolve such apprehensions to contribute the educational research.

McClafferty & McDonough (2000, p.26) conducted research with a similar topic to assess the impact of college culture at high school and pointed that the attitude and decision-making process has greatly influenced by the school, parents and the student himself with the other social factors are less important to direct the carrier path to an alternative direction. They added that the social network and environment for the students create their personal domain that coordinates the college planning while that domain of reference and perception matches with the ‘upper-middle’ standard, the student would search for an opportunity to attend a better college without conflict, but if there is any mismatch, the student has to accept available domain with conflict. As a result, some students would able to their expected college while others have to struggle with their unexpected colleges, another segment of the student never get any chance to go to college due to their lack of supportive domain, information, and scarcity of financial resources and ultimately drop out from the mainstream education. McClafferty & McDonough (2000, p.26) kept their effort to adopt a college culture in a few schools of Los Angeles area in order to provide a college environment to the high schools if the frames of reference matches successfully, all students of those school would be furnished with appropriate information and they would capable to make the right decision for a future career.

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Sanburn (2012) explored that almost 96% of the senior administrators of the US colleges and universities have agreed on the concurrent devastating crisis of the higher education sector, but failed to unite their option to identifying the background cause of such dilemmas and to establish a process that would successfully mitigate the severe crisis. In addition, among the college leaders around 50% tried to overlook the crisis and started to advocate that the rising cost of a college education is reasonable and going in the right direction while 54% of the citizen that it is departing to a wrong track with irrevocable conflicts and urged to set up federal control over the college costs. Now 90% of the Americans believe that the colleges do not keep any effort to improve the affordability, only state interference could keep a stopple to the rising cost of college degree that is out of the democratic values and free-market economy, as an alternative greater use of online courses instead of college campuses teaches could ensure cost reduction. To overcome the situation the public perception and the viewpoints of the educators are very conflicting, some are suggesting controlling tuition costs at a range of vocational and community colleges, others are prescribing to eradicate college sports, merit scholarships, and introducing shared services between the public and private colleges in the context of their curriculum along with research facilities.

Lemann (2010, p.1) mentioned that the excellent tradition of the world’s top success of the American education is now going to throw massive ‘systemic failure’ due to inefficient democratic practice belongs to conflicting goals and actions like the story to showing ‘blind men and the elephant’ and there is no scope to analyze it isolated from the economic failure of democracy. The history of US education has evidenced ‘charter-school movement’, ‘school-reform movement’, ‘back-to-school’ and huge literature on college and university education all those illustrate the positive attributes of the system that worked successfully to establish a good education generation, but it may not evidence that the US education system always worked well for the mass public. Although ESEA- 19651 ensured state funding for school students, most of the educational movements were aimed to attract poor rural communities toward excruciatingly low quality of education at public schools, and technically tried to keep the black children lay behind the white, but the continuous effort of the deprived black today jumped at the frontline. The reform story of the US higher education is totally shrunken with distressing elements that considered the sector as a highly leveraged area for profit-generating, a large number of private universities and community colleges are offering online degrees and state-financed institutes are striving with a budget cut, this scenario couldn’t establish a sustainable education system for the nation.

Srikanthan & Dalrymple (2007, p.173) presented an all-encompassing model for quality of the higher education while the stress from the political leaders to get right entry with a greater share of the changing economy while the rising apprehension pointed to the skills and attitudes of the student, rapid declaim in the public funding under the pressure of people’s movement. Ho and Wearn (1995, p.23) contributed the higher education by introducing TQM solution for this sector as a method of institutional steps forward to the effectiveness of the institutional cohesiveness, strategic flexibility, and under a competitive business environment that would generate enhanced effectiveness to ensure right use of resources to gain organizational objectives fully comparable with the management philosophy. Calvo-Mora (2006) explored the EFQM excellence model of higher education to manage and administer the institutions setting an implicit association with the ‘European excellence model’ that serves strength the management framework of the higher institution with a non-regulatory framework where the agents define appropriate organizational duties with greater excellence and leadership directs the physical and financial resources of proper engagement. Kunstler (2005) established the model for change at higher education arguing that the institutions at present going through an unexpected assortment of demographic adaptation, economic downturn, geopolitical instability, along with cultural pressure in the campus environment with declining financial support, rising costs, and lack of cost-effectiveness that driving this consumer-driven service industry into long-term crisis. This model of change expressed its emergence to organize coordination among the stakeholders including teachers’ students and parents, which is almost demand of the social action groups, but such coordination may oppose by the trustees and administrators arguing it as against US traditions although they don’t have an appropriate recessionary strategy, the model urged that group collaboration would be a better solution.

Catelli (2006) argued that the social order of the country along with its organizations are experiencing some key reformations provoked through state-run safekeeping affairs, financial matters, as well as combined consciousness for altering demographics; every social segment is occupied in re-explanation of principles, morals, and rationale; moreover, in America, supervisory arrangements and executive models of businesses are also transforming. Such bodies were thought to be dynamic earlier; but now they are transforming into additionally amalgamative models, supportive set-up arrangements, and collaborative ideas, which mirror learning-based social order; in addition, it is notable that the augmented consciousness among the US citizens regarding autonomous or moral ideologies, concerns, and doctrine is synchronized with such transformations. On the other hand, no matter whether the people are debating on the diverging social, political, economic, or environmental issues of the country; the majority of the country’s population is always much attentive regarding the question of egalitarian practices, and moral ideals, local problem, as well as virtuous doctrines. Marks (2011) and Weigel-doughty (2010) noted the significance for focusing on college and school health; several researchers carried out a primary investigation and identified numerous disquiets regarding health amongst college learners; moreover, they explained certain current substantiation regarding the connection flanked by graduate-student-fitness and educational attainment – the issue that is more encouraged in teaching institutional health-realms all across the country.

Mayo et al. (2004) suggested that withholding learners in teaching institutions is tremendously essential for the purpose of superior edification; however, increasing expenses of learning, and the high-costs of curriculum management signify that preserving learners is subject to monetary endurance; abrasion-costs differ at institutions and the more learners stay at institution, the more considerable the expenses become, linked with losing-learners. Statistics signify that preservation levels of every American institution for first-second year learners are too deprived that the Department of Education is trying to utilize federal money to recompense flourishing preservation programs; moreover, since anxieties rise on student retention, concentration is being paid at ways to growing retention amid the college-student level and regularly on issues that would persuade victorious preservation of pre-college-students.

Lessinger (1969) provided that institutes should give educational experiences that mirror a broader-spectrum of career opportunities than that created by straightforward college-preparatory or non-college-preparatory-model; to say differently, skills should give the basis for additional education ahead of high school in grounding towards specialized, technological, and occupational areas; inclusive-schools would look like unions of university so that learners can obtain more lessons than normal institutions. Burhanna & Jensen (2006) and Pathak & Pathak (2010) noted that the key idea in the learning centers should on giving a comprehensive learning environment in the schools so that the young students of that level receive mental support when they would move on to college levels so that the retention rates diminish as a whole.

Research Methodology


The rationale of this part is to outline and illustrate the proposed research methods and the process of formulation of the dissertation on the field of educational leadership; therefore, this segment will incorporate many issues, such as, represents the process of data collection, the techniques for the data analysis, provides respondents’ background and the strategies applied to interpret the data.


The main dissertation will consider qualitative data and the rationale behind choosing such an approach is to examine specific aspects in detail, find out the actual impact on the students of the elementary level by discussing with the teachers and parents with unstructured questions. Therefore, it will permit the researcher of the main dissertation to ask open questions considering the coherence of the discussion to inquiry the issues; however, it will not be possible to consider a large group of participants to observe their views.

Study Design

Sekaran (2006) and Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis (2006) stated that qualitative research is concerned with the qualitative phenomenon, which plays a vital role to provide high-quality descriptive reports of people’s perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, observations, and emotions. On the other hand, Miles & Huberman (1994) and Marshall & Rossman, (1999) argued that such an approach gives the opportunity to assess the research problems taking into account the practical scenario, events, behaviour and attitude. At the same time, Malhotra (2009) and Cohen, Manion & Morrison (2007) mentioned that it is linked to the analysis of some abstract idea, doctrine, or theory. Moreover, Saunders et al. (2006) and Cohen et al. (2007) stated that validity is derived from the skills along with competence of the investigator; in this context, the use of such analytical technique will help the researcher to meet research objectives. However, the following table is comparing two different approaches:

Table 1: Characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research

Qualitative Research Quantitative Research
The prime aim of the technique is to achieve a qualitative understanding of underlying causes as well as motivations The major factor of this technique is to quantify the collected data and make simpler the results from the participants
It is important to focus on a small number of non-representative cases It is necessary to take a large number of non-representative cases
Data collection procedures have to be unstructured It is structured and based on the questionnaire of the dissertation
Most importantly, data analysis is non-statistical and helpful for both exploratory and descriptive thesis The procedure is statistical as well as the researcher has the option to consider different data analysis techniques to analyze different situations
Findings and results will build up according to the initial sympathetic It comes from the respondent’s view and suggests a final course of actions to reduce the gap

Population and Sample

To analyze the effect of creating a college-going environment at the elementary school level on students’ educational aspirations, it is important to consider two groups, such as parents and teachers of the students of elementary school; here, the research will not take interviews of the students, as they are minor for this purpose. However, parents have a close relationship with the students for which parents can express their view taking into consideration the environment of home, but teachers and social workers have a different experience as they observe too many students every day. However, the following table provides more information about the target participants in the interview:

Table 2: – Selected participants to interview to assess the effect

Selected respondent groups Number of participants in the interview Educational background of the respondents Country / Area More details
Parents of the students 20 Participants have passed School level to University level, Idaho, State of the USA Parents are willingly expressed their views because they are concerned for the children’s future, but their views reflect family context and narrow form
Teachers and assistants, social workers 20 Participants completed University level, graduation and post-graduation Idaho, State of the USA This group will provide their opinion considering both social and business contexts; in addition, they have the experience of observing a large number of students

Investigative Techniques

Zikmund (2006) and Saunders et al. (2006) stated that a structured Interview refers to a formal, controlled, guided interview, which is carried out based on pre-determined questions; on the other hand, an unstructured Interview is derived from the flexible and open-ended questions. The researcher of this dissertation will use an unstructured Interview process as it will give more freedom and allow the interviewer to focus on discussion or story type narrative by developing a dialogue between interviewer and interviewees; here, it is important to mention that a semi-structured and open-ended questionnaire will be presented to the participants to invite them for discussion. At the same time, the participants will be able to provide flexible, and in-depth answers; however, the analysis of the response is much more difficult and lengthier.


A semi-structured questionnaire will be the main instrument for this research where the researcher will incorporate a pre-formulated written set of questions to identify the important issues from the conversation; however, this questionnaire will design considering problems, conditions, structure within a definite geographical limit to find out the effect of creating a college-going culture in the elementary school. On the other hand, Sekaran (2006) stated that this instrument helps the researchers conducting the face-to-face interview and generalize from a sample to a population though interference can be made to some extent for different characteristics and attitudes of the people.

Data Collections

Rajendran (2001, p.1) and Yin (2003) stated that an effective data collection method can reduce the risk of bias; however, observation and in-depth interview are the most popular techniques to the researcher in this case. However, respondents will ask to schedule interviews in a particular place (considering comfort and privacy issues), as the researcher will apply a face-to-face interview process to collect data from the teachers, social workers, and parents of the students; here, the researcher will record the conversation if the participants provide consent to carry on such process. On the other hand, secondary data will be collected from a different journal articles, and books that are available on the internet or libraries; however, the next figure gives an idea about published secondary data sources:

Classification of published secondary sources
Figure 1: Classification of published secondary sources

Data Analysis Plan

Malhotra (2009) and Cohen, et al (2007) stated that analysis and interpretation of data is the next stage after collecting data where analysis is a critical examination of the assembled data to serve the purpose of the study while interpretation refers to the generalization and results to search for the broader meaning of research finding. At first, the author of the proposed study will change the audio-taped information to transcribe verbatim and consider each record as a separate unit of analysis; however, in the second phase of data analysis, research will study read the transcripts and note the valuable information from the conversation to apply horizonalization techniques to list of non-repetitive, non-overlapping statements and so on. In the third phase of the data analysis process, the author of the proposed dissertation will classify important findings and notes, and compare the viewpoint of the teachers, social workers, and parents of the students of elementary school level. However, in the fourth stage, the author will interpret the classified notes and findings consistent with the research questions for which the researcher has to remove irrelevant data, which can create problems related to internal validity; finally, the modified information will be represented in the report format to analyse the effect of creating a college-going environment at the elementary school.

Ethical Consideration

Ethical issues concerned with the scope and boundaries of the research, assurances of confidentiality to handle sensitive issues, communicate information to the respondents, confidentiality, and anonymity to avoid risks, work with independence and impartiality, focus on the potential benefits and importance of the work, design study framework without any bias and so on (ESRC, RDI & IOE 2013). However, the main dissertation will not collect any data information from the people under the age of 18 years, vulnerable or mental disabled person; however, the next table includes more details:

Table 2: – Ethic Statement

Ethic Statement Yes No
1 This proposal confirms that the main dissertation will contribute of the sector of Educational Leadership xxx
2 Does the main dissertation will involve respondents including,
but not limited to any of the following – interview, questionnaire.,
and observation
3 Does the main dissertation will access personal, sensitive or confidential data, like information about the environment of the
Elementary school
4 Does the main research will take consent from the target groups xxx
5 Whether this dissertation will take data from participants who
are lack of capacity accordance with the Mental Capacity Act

Moreover, the ethical issues will be considered to take information from secondary data sources, such as acknowledging the researchers of the previous works using proper referencing style to discuss the effect of creating a college-going environment at the elementary school level.


Rajendran (2001, p.1) stated that the researchers who deal with qualitative research must endeavor to recognize their own biases as a technique of dealing with them along with subjective states and their effects on data though it is not easy task to avoid such biases because the mindset of the researcher will dominate at the time of data analysis. At the same time, Rajendran (2001, p.1) mentioned that bias is also reflected in the interview process and questionnaire, for instance, the interviewers may ask a question to get an opinion from the participants in accordance with their interest; therefore, it becomes tricky to get actual results from the research. On the other hand, Miles & Huberman (1994) and Marshall & Rossman, (1999) argued that there is no paradigm solution to the elimination of bias; so, the researchers should think about social development that might remain research honest and improve its fairness. In this context, the researcher of the dissertation will take different strategies to collect data and analyse as well, for example, point out own thoughts prior to field survey to minimise the risk of bias, cross-checking the areas if there is any chance of any doubt or prejudice.


Qualitative data analysis will be a time-consuming issue because the participants can raise both relevant and irrelevant issues while they have not restricted with any structured questionnaire; on the other hand, the deadline can be limited to formulate the main dissertation, which can hamper the data analysis process. However, it will also be difficult for the researcher to interview two distinct groups though the sample groups will be comparatively smaller; moreover, the data collection procedure was an expensive issue while field survey is a concern and it was more difficult in this case.

Findings and Results

This is one of the most crucial chapters than other parts of the proposed dissertation because it will be derived from the perception of the participants (teachers, social workers, and parents of the students of elementarily school level) and from the assessment to bring the suitable solutions for measuring the effect of creating a college-going environment at the elementary school. However, the research will apply a qualitative research approach along with an unstructured and open-ended questionnaire for which it will not analyse data using any statistical tools to represent the outcomes graphically, but it will present a report by classifying data, transcribing conversation from audio-tape, removing repetition and error without bias.


This chapter will illustrate the position of different countries where the policymakers are concentrating on the creation of a college-going environment at the elementary school level in order to motivate the students for the higher education, join in the class regularly with the own intention of the students and increase the attention of the student’s higher study and so on. At the same time, this chapter will explain the negative and positive effects on the students’ educational aspirations due to the introduction of a college-going environment at the elementary school level; therefore, this part will focus the observation of social and cultural change of the students both in-home and school environment.

Key Recommendations & Conclusion

The last chapter of the proposed dissertation will examine all the arguments of prior chapters to draw an important conclusion and to suggest some solutions for the policymakers, Ministry of Education, teachers, and parents by assessing the effect of creating a college-going environment at the elementary school level on students’ educational aspirations.

Research Schedule

Year 2011
Mar toApril April May June July Aug Sep Remark
Selecting dissertation topic from the subject of Education Leadership x
Find out research gap, research questions, and objectives of the study x
Start working on the topic x
Design research framework for the proposed dissertation x
Completing dissertation proposal x
Submitting dissertation proposal to the supervisor for approval x Hope to get positive feedback from supervisor
Research proposal defense x
Dissertation proposal approved by the University x
Completing the first chapter research statement with research questions and objectives x
Submit to the survivor for review and ask suggestion for theoretical framework x x
Assess the theoretical framework of the previous research and start working on Literature review x x
Design research methodology for the dissertation as it is one of the most important part for the entire paper x
Submitting first three chapters to the supervisor for review x May include positive feedback
First three chapters checked by the Supervisor with revision instruction x 25thJuly 2013
Prepare questionnaire and pre-test questionnaire x
The researcher will conduct face to face interview to assemble primary data x x
Transcribe conversation, removing repetition and error without bias x
Completing chapter four findings and results and chapter five discussion x x
These two chapters will be submitted for checking revision instruction x
Draw conclusion and provide recommendations in the dissertation x Hope to get positive feedback
Submitting all chapters to supervisor x
Last three chapters checked by the Supervisor x


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1 – Elementary and Secondary Education Act – 1965