Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/Advisor

Hans W. Klar

Committee Member

Noelle A. Paufler

Committee Member

Kathryn Lee D'Andrea

Committee Member

Jon F. Christiansen


This study explored the effects of taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses on college and career readiness in a rural school district in the southeastern United States. I examined student performance data using American College Test (ACT) scores, Ready to Work (R2W) examination scores, and AP examination scores. The results of the study show that taking a single AP course leads to significant improvement on the ACT exam over a student who has not taken an AP courses and the optimal number of courses a student should take. The results of the study also show that taking an AP course leads to similar improvements on the R2W exam. The findings from this study will help educators and education policy makers by providing information about the efficacy of AP programs in schools and determining whether enrolling in AP courses adequately prepares students for college-level work or the workforce after high school or if school resources would be better utilized in other ways to prepare students for post-secondary life instead of investing heavily in expanding AP curriculum.



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