Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Committee Member

Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


A growing trend in high schools across the state is the use of dual credit and dual enrollment courses to better prepare high school students for college or the work force. Given the increase in dual credit and dual enrollment participation and the goal of creating a more seamless transition from high school to college, the effectiveness of these programs needs to be researched. The research hypothesis for this study states that students who participate in a dual credit and dual enrollment program during high school are more likely to complete an associate degree within 3 years than students who do not participate in dual credit and dual enrollment, when accounting for covariates such as gender, race, and socioeconomic status. This study examined the effectiveness of dual credit and dual enrollment programs, particularly with regard to associate degree completion, credit hour accumulation, and college GPA. The participants in this study were 1st-time, full-time students enrolled during Academic Year 2007 at 5 of the 15 community and junior colleges in state of Mississippi. The sample included 6,029 students, of which 255 had previously participated in a dual enrollment or dual credit program. This study revealed that dual credit and dual enrollment participation positively affects postsecondary outcomes for students enrolling in community colleges in the areas of associate degree completion and college GPA. Students who started college with prior experience in a dual credit or dual enrollment program were 2.51 times more likely to complete an associate degree within 3 years of first-time, full-time college enrollment than individuals who did not participate. Additionally, the study revealed that factors such as SES, gender, and race had an effect on college GPA; and that SES and race affected the number of credit hours earned by community college students. Given the positive outcomes resulting from participation in dual credit and dual enrollment programs, these programs certainly bear consideration for expansion and further study in the future, particularly given the growing availability of longitudinal data within statewide longitudinal data systems that have launched in recent years across the United States.