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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Carl Wozniak
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology
Title: Administrator Perspectives of Post-secondary Educational Opportunities for Michigan High School Students
Dr. Louann Bierlein-Palmer, Chair
Dr. Andrea Beach
Dr. Dennis Stanek
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 10:00 a.m. - Noon
3208 Sangren Hall
This descriptive quantitative study explores perspectives of Michigan high school and higher education administrator stakeholders regarding current and potential increased participation in post-secondary educational opportunities by high school students. It examines current institutional levels of involvement, personal knowledge concerning program rules and regulations, efficacy of existing programs, barriers to program expansion, and potential solutions to those barriers as perceived by the participants.
The study utilizes an online researcher-created survey instrument and stakeholder and complexity/contingency theories to explore commonalities and differences between three administrator groups. These stakeholders include college dual enrollment officers, school district superintendents, and high school principals. Information gained from the exploration of this topic is intended to assist state policy makers, program developers in higher education, and college and high school administrators in their educational reform efforts related to expansion of postsecondary programs.
Results show that three-quarters of schools participate in Advanced Placement (AP) programs and that all colleges accept AP credits. Approximately 80% of colleges participate in dual enrollment, but acceptance of dual enrollment credit varies by institution type, with public four-year institutions most restrictive. Other modalities (early and middle college and International Baccalaureate) are limited in the state.
Between 50 and 75 percent of participants were able to correctly answer standard questions regarding student and institutional eligibility and organizational responsibilities concerning dual enrollment. Questions were taken from published materials readily available to the participants.
Significant differences in between-group responses were noted in five of 17 barriers to program expansion. These include faculty pedagogy, distance to college, student maturity, and dual enrollment transfer credit. School officials see systemic issues as the primary concerns holding back expansion while college officials believe participant-centered problems are most significant.
Significant differences were also noted in seven of 12 solution statements. Generally, participants prefer to prioritize programs under their own institutional control for expansion and minimize those that are not. While there is strong support for increasing options for less-talented students, participants have little interest in eliminating academic or grade-level requirements, which would allow for increased student participation in career and technical programs.