Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Patricia Murrell

Committee Member

William Akey

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa

Committee Member

Terry Ishitani


When the United States' Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, was asked how to better prepare students for higher education he said: "We have to increase the rigor in high schools to prepare young people for the next stage of life by boosting opportunities so that they gain the support they need to meet those higher standards" (as cited in Oregon Department of Education, 2011, p. 2). One way to boost opportunities for educational growth is through participation in dual enrollment programs. There are many proposed benefits for partipation in dual enrollment programs, such as smoother transitions between high school and college, decreased time to graduation, and increased graduation rates; however, there is a lack of quantifiable supporting data for those proposed benefits (Allen, 2010; Andrews, 2004; Karp, Calcagno, Hughes, Jeong, & Bailey, 2008; Kim & Bragg, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine students' academic performance, retention, and degree attainment at the University of the Mid-South, after their participation in the institution's high school based dual enrollment program. A group of dual enrollment students were compared to other students within their academic cohort who entered the academic institution with similar pre-entry educational attributes. The pre-entry attributes that were used to measure academic ability were: cumulative high school GPA and maximum composite ACT score. There were 6,377 student included in this study who enrolled as first-time, full-time freshmen from fall 2008 through fall 2011 semesters. Only 370 (5.8%) students included in this study had participated in the institution's high school based dual enrollment program. This study found that students who had participated in the dual enrollment program were more likely to be retained, had higher average GPAs after one academic year, and were more likely to graduate in the four years this study was conducted. However, no significant differences were found after conducting the binary logistic regression analyses on retention and graduation. Therefore, it was strongly recommended to conduct more longitudinal studies at various institutions and levels in order to further enhance the research on dual enrollment participants' subsequent academic performance in higher education.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.