Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education

First Advisor

Stacy R. Niemeyer

Second Advisor

Doug Davis

Third Advisor

Susan McClelland

Relational Format



ABSTRACT The ACT provides opportunities for students of various socioeconomic backgrounds, racial identities, and family structures. Throughout the nation, there is a disparity that involves Black students scoring less than White students on the test by a margin of five points. The applied mixed methods research aimed to identify elements to help decrease the gap in student scores. The combined efforts of all the elements, tutorials, boot camps, ACT prep classes, and providing ACT resources in daily instruction formed the WeACT program. The students of Tinlake High School were exposed to this pilot program to assist in their ACT growth. Four research questions guided this study. The first question measured the overall effectiveness of the program in reducing the ACT achievement gap. The second question explored the effectiveness of the individual components of the program. The third question inquired about potential improvements to the program. The fourth question evaluated the changes in student confidence relative to the ACT. Consequently, there was an increase in Black students' ACT scores who participated in the program. The students identified two elements as the most effective, ACT Bootcamps and exposure to ACT resources in daily instruction. Students presented recommendations for program improvement in three categories of factors: teacher actions, school actions, or teacher-school actions. Despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, student confidence grew for students during this program.



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