Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

Pannell, Myra

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


The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the perceptions of community college administrators in Mississippi regarding the early college high schools located on their campuses. While the ECHS model has become prominent in several states, Mississippi’s efforts to implement the model have yet to be fully examined. Six administrators from three community colleges with ECHS located on their campuses were individually interviewed and asked to share their perceptions of the ECHS model. The participants were asked a series of 12 questions composed by the researcher. The results of the study indicated that each of the administrators overwhelmingly view the ECHS model as a beneficial template and resource for students in Mississippi. Six major themes were described throughout the research: access and opportunity, student achievement, evolving maturity of the students, navigating college/college readiness, benefits to the community college, and community pride. This study provided the first comprehensive assessment of community college administrators regarding the benefits and challenges of the ECHS model in Mississippi. The perspectives shared by these community college leaders are intended to help policymakers and other stakeholders assess the partnerships and benefits of the ECHS in the state.