Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Melissa Bass

Relational Format



The Way I See It, conducted with a peer, Kaitlyn Barton, explores college preparation and student aspirations in Mississippi public high schools. In order to gain a thorough understanding of college preparation and student aspirations in the state, we decided to split the thesis into three main components: 1) a survey, distributed to juniors at three high schools in Mississippi, to collect quantitative data; 2) a documentary film, to delve into the qualitative, human side of the issue; and, 3) the written thesis. In my written thesis, I focused on issues of college preparation. Overall, Mississippi high school students are not pushed to take rigorous courses; lack the knowledge and skills needed to succeed on standardized tests; and are uninformed about the college application process. I conclude that the state of Mississippi as a whole has much work to do to ensure that all students are prepared for some form of post-secondary education. I recommend that Mississippi continue the implementation of Common Core State Standards; create an intervention program to address individual accountability on the ACT; and invest in college counselors that can assist students with the college preparation and application process.

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