Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership - Higher Education

Committee Member

Tony Cawthon, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Michelle Boettcher

Committee Member

Kristin Frady

Committee Member

Meihua Qian


The purpose of this quantitative study was two-fold. First, this study examines whether differences exist in students' noncognitive readiness between non-dually enrolled students, dually-enrolled students on high school campuses, and dually-enrolled students on college campuses. Second, this study evaluates the relationship between noncognitive college readiness factors, dual enrollment program location, and students' first year college grade point average (GPA).

Poor college readiness has been a persistent issue in higher education, contributing to stagnant college retention and graduation rates. Community colleges deliver dual enrollment programs to improve college readiness and postsecondary academic outcomes. Dual enrollment participation has grown at a rapid pace, and wide variation exists in program implementation. Program location is often cited as a variation in program implementation, but few studies have evaluated the influence of dual enrollment program location on students' academic outcomes. Researchers have assessed dual enrollment students' academic outcomes to quantify college readiness, but few studies have evaluated the influence of dual enrollment on noncognitive factors of college readiness.

Using data from a rural Southeastern community college, this nonexperimental quantitative study was structured in two phases. The first phase used a comparative design to analyze differences in student scores on six noncognitive measures of college readiness between students that did not complete dual enrollment coursework, students that completed dual enrollment coursework at a high school campus, and students that completed dual enrollment coursework at a college campus. Analysis of covariance statistical tests were conducted to evaluate differences. The second phase of this study used a correlational design to determine whether dual enrollment program location and noncognitive measures influenced dual enrollment students' first year college GPAs. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the variance in first year college grade point average that was accounted by dual enrollment program location and noncognitive measures of college readiness.

No significant differences were found between groups for Academic Attributes, Help Seeking, Locus of Control, Persistence, and Procrastination noncognitive measures. Dual enrollment completers reported significantly higher Time Management scores compared to non-dually enrolled students, but the effect size was small. Hierarchical regression analyses showed dual enrollment program location and noncognitive measures significantly predicted students' first year college GPA, controlling for high school GPA and bio-demographic variables.

The findings from this study suggest completing dual enrollment coursework on a college campus significantly predicts higher first year college GPA. Noncognitive measures exert significant influence student's college readiness as measured by first year college GPA. Findings from this study may influence policymakers in revising dual enrollment policy implementation and practitioners in creating partnership agreements between secondary and postsecondary educational systems.



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