Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Robert Calvert

First Committee Member

Rod P. Githens

Second Committee Member

Fred Estes


Since the 1970s’, dual credit programs have helped high school students earn college credit and gain college readiness skills. However, the standalone branch of dual credit programs lacks structured advising, educational planning, and student support. As a result, participants of the standalone dual credit option experience frustration and significant difficulties in their dual credit experience. This study adds to the literature by evaluating the effectiveness of a standalone dual credit program designed with Guided Pathways-style support services.

Through quantitative analysis, this study compared two groups of standalone dual credit students. Both groups participated in standalone dual credit programs at the same host college. However, only one of the groups participated in a support-based standalone dual credit program. In addition to evaluating the effectiveness of support programs, the study also evaluated student perceptions as to the effectiveness of the following support service: Academic roadmaps with preset pattern of courses and preset degree options, coordinated dual high school and college advising, and cohort-style peer support. The demographics are consistent with the literature in the form of high achieving student participation. Students supported Guided Pathways program support style services. These results may help practitioners, designers, and administrators of standalone dual credit programs consider implementing student support programs within their program design.





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