Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie

Committee Member

Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


In line with the national trend, Mississippi faces the same challenge that fewer students are completing college degrees. In response to the national call for more degrees, many states have implemented dual enrollment programs to try to decrease the transition anxiety between high school and college, which could possibly lead to more college degrees. This study will add to the very limited body of quantitative research relating to the relationship between students participating in dual enrollment and college degree completion at rural Mississippi community colleges. With an increased focus on a higher number of college graduates, this study could provide information for rural community colleges in Mississippi in regards to retention of dual enrollment participants through obtaining a degree. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not there was a significant difference in the number of students completing an Associate’s degree when comparing students who participated in a dual enrollment program to students who did not participate in a dual enrollment program at a rural Mississippi community college. The sample was comprised of 320 students - 160 students who participated in dual enrollment and a comparative group of 160 students who did not participate in dual enrollment - from across the district of the target community college. Participants included students who were enrolled at the target community college in the fall and spring semesters of 2010 and 2011. A Chi-square test for independence was used for all four research questions to analyze the two categorical variables. Results of the study indicate that there is a significant relationship between the participation in dual enrollment and the completion of a degree, AA and AAS, at the target community college. Findings indicate that students who participate in the dual enrollment program are much less likely to complete their degree at the target community college. There is a need to further investigate dual enrollment as it pertains to completion of a degree at a rural Mississippi community college.