Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The purpose of this mixed methods study was to utilize a comprehensive 9-16 dataset to quantitatively examine which pre-college credit programs are the most significant predictors of college achievement as defined by college GPA, first to second year retention, time to degree and graduation date. A qualitative analysis was conducted, which via the use of a survey allowed students to share their perceptions and feeling regarding their pre-college credit experiences. Data for this study was obtained from institutional sources and consisted of 9-16 detail high school record, admissions, financial aid, scholarship and enrolled student information. Univariate and Multi-variate statistical analyses identified the effects of pre-college credit programs on college achievement when controlling for high school academic GPA and standardized test scores. Grounded theory technique was used to describe and develop in the student’s own voices their experiences with pre-college credit programs. The quantitative analysis discovered differences by pre-college credit program in the cohort performance by college GPA, first to second year retention, time to degree and graduation date. The qualitative analysis focused on students who took DE only and AP only. This study found that there were differences in student perceptions regarding their individual experiences with these programs which then helped to inform the quantitative results. The major findings indicated that AP students outperformed DE students in almost all measures. The qualitative findings revealed that there appeared to be a dis-connect in the perceptions of how DE students described their experiences with their actual performance. This study brings to the forefront, issues already articulated on the national stage regarding the efficacy of these pre-college credit programs. Firstly, the need to have a mechanism to capture student data in order to conduct outcome and assessment studies of these pre-college credit programs. Secondly, the need to have uniform quality and delivery measures for dual enrollment to assure that all students have the opportunity to be successful. Finally, policymakers and stakeholders must take a hard look at whether these pre-college credit programs are working for their student populations and adjust accordingly rather than promoting a “one size fits all” mentality regarding these programs.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Arbuthnot, Keena



Included in

Education Commons