Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
College of Education and Social Sciences
This ex post facto, causal-comparative, quantitative study examined variations in academic success of Early College High School (ECHS) students who completed a dual credit course in two separate classroom environments, specifically a high school classroom environment and a college classroom environment. The researcher sought to determine if a relationship existed between classroom environment and final grades of students enrolled in an ECHS. Students in the high school classroom environment sample completed a dual credit English 101 course in a high school classroom located in an ECHS, taught by a high school teacher who had been credentialed by the partnering community/technical college. Students in the college classroom environment sample completed a dual credit English 101 course in a college classroom located on a community/technical college campus, taught by a college faculty member employed by the college. Academic success was defined as the final grade earned in the dual credit course on a 4.0 grading scale represented by an A, B, C, D, or F letter grade.
The participants in the study included 420 junior and senior-level high school students who attended an ECHS located in the state of South Carolina. Archived data from 2014 to 2019 was used to review the final grades of students who completed a dual credit English 101 course offered in either the high school classroom environment or the college classroom environment. In addition to final grade data, student demographic information including age, gender, and ethnicity/race, was collected to use as control variables in the analysis.
The descriptive statistics assessment revealed that variations existed in the final course grades of ECHS students, based on the classroom environment in which they completed the dual credit English 101 course. The results indicated that the students enrolled in the high classroom environment had higher final grades than their college classroom counterparts. Specifically, the data showed that students in the high school classroom environment sample scored an average of 1.02 points higher than students in the college campus classroom environment sample, resulting in a full letter grade differential.
The Pearson r correlation and the multiple regression analysis indicated that a strong relationship existed between final grades and classroom environment of ECHS students while controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity/race. The p-value was used as the level of statistical significance, where a p < .05 was significant, p < .01 was very significant, and a p > .05 was non-significant (Field, 2018). The data revealed that the results were very significant at the p < .01 for the relationship between final grades and classroom environment (p = < .001), significant at the p < .05 for the relationship between final grades and gender, non-significant at the p > .05 for the relationship between final grades and age, and non-significant at the p > .05 for the relationship between final grades and ethnicity/race.
Johnston, Cynthia A., "Early College High School: A Study of Dual Enrollment Students' Academic Success Based on Classroom Environment" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 151.