Date of Award

Fall 10-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Shirley Lawler

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the role of a middle college as a viable educational alternative to the traditional school environment and as one that supported student transition from high school into post-secondary education. Middle college is a unique transitional program in which students can participate in high school and college courses, typically on a college campus (Middle College National Consortium (MCNC), 2014a). Student participants usually experience more student support services, and practical, real-world education (Lieberman, 2004). The study consisted of a mixed methods design, with five total research questions, and included participant data from the target years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. The qualitative component included a focus group discussion with seven former student graduates of MMC. The quantitative research included a t-test analysis of four student factors: pre- and post-MMC intervention attendance, pre- and post-MMC intervention high school grade point averages, student participant dropout rate compared with state-wide data, and subsequent college enrollment at the target site institution. Despite the growth of transitional programs like middle college, limited research exists on the effectiveness of transitional programs (Adelman, 2006; Rodríguez, Hughes, & Belfield, 2012). It is imperative formal evaluations and research be done to document the benefits of these programs. In doing so, this study may be able to document the value of MMC being studied as well as guide the direction of future middle college programs.

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