Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Louann Bierlein Palmer


Administrator perspectives regarding current and potential increased participation in post-secondary educational opportunities by Michigan high school students were explored in this descriptive quantitative study. Targeted concerns included 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 utilized an online researcher-created survey instrument and stakeholder and complexity/contingency theories to explore commonalities and differences between three administrator groups. These stakeholders included 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 post-secondary programs.

Results show that participants prefer programs they operationally and fiscally control to programs they do not. The concept of post-secondary programs is valuable to participants, both now and once economic conditions improve. Funding is the most critical concern for school administrators, who generally believe the schools' contribution is too great. College administrators view the funding formula as generally equitable.

Three-quarters of schools participate in Advanced Placement programs and all colleges accept AP credits. Approximately 80% of colleges participate in dual enrollment, but acceptance of dual enrollment credit varies, with public four-year institutions being most restrictive.

Half to three-quarters of participants were able to correctly answer 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 intergroup responses were noted in five of 17 barriers to program expansion. 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, with less intergroup agreement. While there is strong support for increasing options for lesstalented students, participants have little interest in eliminating academic or grade-level requirements, which would allow for increased student participation in career and technical programs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access