Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Christopher R. Glass

Committee Member

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

Dean Roughton

Committee Member

Philip A. Reed


Dual enrollment participation promotes college attendance following high school, and college administrators view the program as a valuable student recruitment opportunity. Yet, less than one-third of participants choose to matriculate with the host institution, especially at a community college. The literature contains minimal information regarding how dual enrollment participation serves as a context in college choice.

Using Perna’s college choice model, this qualitative study explored how dual enrollment participation shaped students’ choice to attend the host institution the semester after high school graduation. Through semi-structured interviews, field notes, and a document review, I answered the following question: How does participation in technical and transfer dual enrollment programs shape students’ choice to enroll as degree-seeking with the host institution? Participants included 14 former dual enrollment students in both technical and transfer dual enrollment programs from Appalachia Community College (ACC), who opted to enroll as degree-seeking with ACC the semester after high school graduation. I used descriptive and pattern coding to identify themes.

The findings suggest that the technical and transfer dual enrollment participants held similar reasons for enrolling as degree-seeking with ACC. The dual enrollment experience exposed the students to ACC characteristics that they ultimately found appealing. Students particularly appreciated the supportive faculty. Additionally, the participants selected ACC because of the environment, ability to save money, location, the gained momentum towards a degree, and the available programs and transfer opportunities. The study’s findings add to the dual enrollment literature and provide insight for community college administrators seeking to recruit former dual enrollment participants.