Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Prince, Debra L.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The purpose of this quantitative research study was to explore dual enrollment as a college readiness strategy and the effects of dual enrollment programs on persistence and achievement within a post-secondary institution. This study examined documented institutional data of former dual enrollment students and their direct entry peers who were 1st-time college students at a community college in South Mississippi. Community colleges in Mississippi have maintained dual enrollment programs for over a decade, but few empirical-based research studies have been conducted to determine whether or not student achievement and persistence rates differed for students with prior dual enrollment experience. Therefore, more empirically-based research is needed to determine whether research findings are generalizable. Further research will contribute to the body of literature regarding the impact and effectiveness of dual enrollment and how it relates to college persistence. The sample included all students who graduated from local service area high schools in the spring of 2012 and matriculated to the community college in the fall of 2012. The study analyzed measures of achievement and indicators of persistence for all students over 2 academic years. The study used an independent sample t-test to compare whether prior dual enrollment students had different rates of persistence and achievement than direct entry students. A factorial analysis of variance was used to test for significance among independent variables of enrollment type with the dependent variables of persistence and achievement among categorical variables of race to determine if there was a difference in proportion of students in dual enrollment versus direct entry. Persistence is defined as the continuous full-time enrollment from the first year to the second year. Achievement was measured using ACT scores and grade point average (GPA). Findings revealed that no significant difference existed in measures of persistence between students with prior dual credit and direct entry students. Significant differences existed in measures of achievement by students with prior dual credit and by direct entry students in two areas: Act scores and cumulative GPA. Other findings indicated differences did not exist for persistence by enrollment type and race or for achievement by enrollment type and race.



success||completion||accomplishment||perseverance||endurance||involvement||college preparedness||college in high school||early college||joint enrollment||concurrent enrollment