Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



By 2042, racial minority groups will comprise the majority of the population in the United States. This reality will bring with it a diversity of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds as represented by the students in Americas schools. How public schools respond to this changing demographic will define the future of our country. This study answers three research questions: What impact did the implementation of a comprehensive bilingual program at Altura High School and Parkland High School have on school culture and teachers' perceptions and practices? What impact does a comprehensive bilingual program have on the academic outcomes of students? Finally, what organizational change does the implementation of a rigorous (college preparation) bilingual program create on a high school campus? I utilized face-to-face interviews of administrators, teachers, graduates, and parents from the aforementioned high schools, coupled with a limited document analysis, to collect data for this study. I found that personnel play a significant role in the development and implementation of a bilingual program in the comprehensive high school setting. Administrators' familiarity with bilingual programs, their ability to speak more than one language, and their capacity to properly staff the school with qualified teachers who are able to carry out the mission of the bilingual program are fundamental. Administrators struggle to find and maintain bilingual teachers who are able to teach in two languages and use academic language. Based on the findings, the role of counselors and their academic advisement are critical to the outcomes of students. The alignment of programming and curriculum along the kindergarten through twelfth grade pipeline was a central theme that was instrumental in increasing student achievement and providing strong professional development opportunities for teachers. Finally, another finding of particular interest was the existence of racism, discrimination, and poverty in these schools and the correlation these social challenges have with instructional practices and learning. Through the stories of those interviewed and through the limited document analysis, I began to have an insight into the struggles and celebrations these individuals have experienced as they have been part of bilingual programming in the comprehensive high school setting.'


Bilingual Education, High School, Dual Language

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Allison M. Borden

Second Committee Member

Arlie Woodrum

Third Committee Member

Viola E. Florez

Fourth Committee Member

Gladys Herrera Gurulé