Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Adams, Joe

Committee Member

Wiseman, Marty

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems, Leadership and Workforce Development


Despite the fact that education plays a vital role in the success of an individual and society as a whole, it is estimated that 1 of every 4 students will not receive a high school diploma four years after starting ninth grade. In an effort to decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates of high school students, educators are searching for nontraditional methods to increase student achievement. One such method, dual enrollment, involves community colleges in the role as facilitators. While preliminary research indicates a relationship between dually enrolled students and high school graduation, additional data is needed on student demographics and achievement. To build and improve upon the dual enrollment programs of Mississippi’s community colleges, it will be important to know the participation levels and their effect on graduation rates. The purpose of this study was twoold: 1)To examine the proportions of students participating in Mississippi Community College Dual Enrollment Programs based on various demographics. 2)To determine the degree to which Mississippi Community College Dual Enrollment demographics and poverty levels of Mississippi public schools affect high school graduation rates of Mississippi’s Community College Districts. Data were obtained from the State Board of Community and Junior Colleges and the Mississippi Department of Education. Demographic variables chosen for the study included gender, race, curriculum and poverty level. Data from each public school was grouped according to the corresponding community college district, allowing the researcher to better establish the proportions of students participating in dual enrollment and the poverty level of public school students within the district. These proportions were then analyzed to find correlation between demographics and graduation rates of the community college district. Results indicate a low overall percentage of students participating in dual enrollment and disproportioned percentages between community college districts. Regression analyses indicate that race, gender and curriculum did not contribute significantly to the prediction of graduation rate. However, high poverty levels did show a significant relationship to lower graduation rates. Additionally, in every district females were dually enrolled at rates higher than males, and students were enrolled in academic courses notably more than technical/vocational courses.



community college||high school graduation rates||demographics||dual enrollment||dual credit||Dual enrollment--Mississippi.||High school students--Education (Higher)--Mississippi.||College credits--Mississippi.||Education--Economic aspects--Mississippi.||Low-income high school students--Mississippi.||High school graduates--Mississippi.||High school dropouts--Mississippi.