Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Anne Walker


In an educational environment that has limited resources, and greater pressures for increased academic standards, what is the best option to help prepare high school students for college academics? This research study: A Mixed Method Study of the Impact of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Dual Enrollment Courses on College Transition and Success attempted to investigate the impact of advanced courses on college transition.

The results of this research showed no statistical difference in academic success or transition to college between students who had taken advanced classes and those who had not. There were also no statistical differences between students who had taken AP and PSEO classes. 130 participants enrolled at a Midwestern university participated in this research study and answered survey questions about their college and high school grade point averages; how they dealt with academic challenges in college; if they felt their high school prepared them for college academics; and how many credits they transferred from their advanced programs. The qualitative portion of the survey asked participants more reflective questions about their transition to college academics. Both groups of students, those who had taken advanced courses in high school and those who hadn’t, experienced similar challenges in college transition and success. Participants perceived that advanced courses in the humanities prepared them the most for college academics. Implications include improved advising for each group and increased focus on writing and critical thought in high school.