Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Larry Ebbers


Dual credit programs allow high school students to enroll in postsecondary institutions while still in high school, earning concurrent high school and college credit. Because dual credit programs can serve a variety of purposes (financial, educational, and systemic), they have gained prominence in education reform initiatives. My study evaluated one school-based dual credit program partnered through a Midwestern community college.;Two research questions guided the study: (1) Are high school students who earn early college credit more likely than traditionally-enrolled students to complete college degrees? (2) Does this form of dual credit program yield accelerated educational progress for students? I used a longitudinal time design (1993--2001) to follow the college careers of 568 students from the time they initially enrolled in school-based dual credit programs to their completion of college programs at the community college. I compared their achievement to that of 1,007 students who entered the college as traditionally-enrolled students;Using Ordinary Least Squares and Logistic Regression analyses of institutional data, I found (1) no difference in the likelihood of completion between dual credit and regular students; (2) the "jump start" function of dual credits programs varies by award type, accelerating completion for diploma students but having no significant effect for degree-seekers. Variables besides dual credit enrollment that contributed to completion and acceleration included educational goals, major area of study, and accumulative credit requirements. Variables having no significant net effects included socioeconomic status and academic preparation.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Joseph Edward Nitzke



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File Size

130 pages