Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Taylor, Leonard

Committee Member

Moyen, Eric. A

Committee Member

Cutts-Givens, Qiana

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


Federal and state policies affecting higher education, like the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1832, Brown vs. Board of Education, and Higher Education Act of 1965 have posited change regarding the proliferation of diversity and expansion of access (Thelin, 2011).

I analyzed BOT policies for enrollment and conducted a socio-diagnostic CDA on the implementation of admission policy to understand the impact of the policies’ implementation. I focused on 1) exploring how open enrollment (OE) policies were constructed, 2) how institutions adopt and interpret these policies, and 3) how individuals at the institution enact these policies, by conducting a discourse-historical analysis (DHA).

Open enrollment has been extensively studied at junior colleges. However, the impact of open admissions (OA) at 4-year institutions has not been intensely engaged despite its use at these types of institutions. This has left professionals to draw implications for practice from universities and colleges that are different than the ones in which they work. There are conditions that could inhibit the effectiveness of education policy implementation to include: “a lack of focus on the implementation processes when defining policies at the system level; a lack of recognition that the core of change processes require engaging people; and the fact that implementation processes need to be revised to adapt to new complex governance systems” (Viennet & Pont, 2017, p. 6).

I conducted a case study investigation of open enrollment policy at a 4-year public university to understand its implementation and impact on the student experience. I used discourse-historical analysis to guide my analysis of the data.

Implications were creation of a student profile, resource support matrix, and rethink of policy implementation.