Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Elizabeth Shaunessy, Ph.D.


Advanced courses, High school, Academic achievement, Mental health, Ethnic and racial group differences


The current study focused on the extent to which participation in academically rigorous college preparatory programs, International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Advanced Placement (AP) particularly, impacts students from racially diverse backgrounds (Caucasian, African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Latino American). Student outcomes of interest included the program satisfaction, school climate perceptions (relationships with peers and teachers), and psychoeducational adjustment (academic and mental health functioning). The experiences of 381 college preparatory participants were also compared to 143 general education peers and subjected to a series of MANOVAs and ANOVAs. General findings indicated that, regardless of the student's racial identity, students in AP and IB had very positive experiences in terms of high academic achievement, healthy student-teacher and student-peer relationships, and no mental ill health (no stress, anxiety or depression). Limitations, implications and future directions are also discussed.