Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Robert Barak


The Iowa Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act (PSEOA) was passed by the Iowa Legislature in 1987 and permits high school students to enroll in college classes for college credit and also apply that credit to high school graduation requirements. To date no longitudinal research has been conducted to track students participating in this program through a four-year university experience, and the state's educational sectors have indicated a need for such research. This study tracked the educational progress of 204 high school students who earned PSEO credit through four Iowa community colleges and transferred this credit to Iowa's three Regent universities;The methods of investigation for this study were quantitative. Data were collected from the Iowa Department of Education, the four participating community colleges, and the three Iowa Regent institutions. Students were divided into two comparison groups: (1) students who earned PSEO credit by enrolling in courses offered by one of the participating community colleges at the local high school and (2) students who earned PSEO credit by enrolling in courses taught at the community college site;The primary research question, "Is there a significant difference in ACT composite scores, grades recorded for PSEO credit, high school class rank, subsequent university academic performance, and current Regent university enrollment status between the two comparison groups," was investigated by testing seven null hypotheses using inferential and correlational statistical techniques at the.10 level of significance. This researcher found no significant difference in any of the research variables between the two comparison groups;This research project also included an observational study and descriptive analysis of all vocational and academic courses for which PSEO credit was awarded at two of the four participating community colleges. Variables for this observational study included community college center location, instructional delivery method, and designation of course as vocational or transfer.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Sherril Ann Harris



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

106 pages