Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Ralph J. Rich

Committee Member

Sylvia Auton

Abstract

This applied dissertation explored dual enrollment viability when compared to other acceleration mechanisms: (a) advanced placement, (b) advanced international certificate of education, (c) international baccalaureate, and (d) college-level examination program. This multicase, qualitative study explored the competitiveness of dual enrollment versus other acceleration mechanism using Porter’s model and the strengthsweaknessesopportunities- threats analysis as the theoretical frameworks. The study used one-on-one interviews to gather primary comparative information. Five groups were interviewed: (a) the vendors of the acceleration mechanisms, (b) state education officials, (c) district personnel, (d) high school representatives, and (e) higher education representatives. The acceleration mechanisms’ educational objectives, their positioning, and any acceleration mechanisms’ benefits to the various stakeholders were examined. Dual enrollment was compared to the other acceleration mechanisms to develop recommendations for improving the competitive positioning and viability of dual enrollment in Florida.

The study found that acceleration-mechanism options were complex and dynamic programs that were highly influenced by government policies and funding. Educational entities viewed the value of acceleration mechanisms differently, especially dual enrollment. All groups agreed that acceleration mechanisms provided rigorous curriculum for high school students to prepare for college. However, educational entities first wanted to protect their own interests and funding. In terms of dual enrollment, financial considerations remained a substantial motivation for the program. The study showed that all acceleration mechanisms offered benefits to participating students. However, the multifaceted and ever-changing nature of acceleration mechanisms provided no clear advantages or benefits for dual enrollment versus other acceleration mechanisms. Several recommendations are made that addressed concerns about the longterm value of dual enrollment for Florida institutions and students.