Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


Loyola Academy, a Jesuit High School, seeks to create college-bound students through a rigorous curriculum that focuses on academics, faith, and physical fitness. Students who require additional academic support participate in the O'Shaughnessy program, a structured class that focuses on literacy and student skills. in 2015, the O'Shaughnessy program was changed from a four-year program to a two-year program to better prepare students for the independence of college. the purpose of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of this change while focusing on best practices in secondary reading instruction and study skills in a college readiness framework. as Loyola accepts more students of varying levels of lower academic ability it is important to evaluate the equity of the academic supports to ensure that all students will remain college-bound. This is especially important since academic skills and achievement is the single greatest factor in improving a student's likelihood of attending a four-year college (Engberg & Wolniak, 2010). This non-experimental quantitative study identified High School Placement Test (HSPT) scores, information related to ADHD or Specific Learning Disability identification, GPA, ACT scores, and College admission data for students who graduated from Loyola Academy in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 and also participated in the O'Shaughnessy program. This study found that students who participated in the O'Shaughnessy program for one year or were identified as having Specific Learning Disability in reading had better outcomes on the ACT than those who participated in the program for two years or did not have a disability. Loyola completion rates were bolstered when students attended the program for two years or students who were identified as having ADHD. Recommendations were made to modify the second year O'Shaughnessy program to include community mentorship, add a check-in/check out after students exit the program, and evaluate the impact of the program on a wider variety of student variables (i.e., race, scholarship, etc.).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.