Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of enrollment in North Dakota’s dual credit program on the students who had been enrolled from Fall 1997 through Spring 2004. Participants are identified by gender, by year in school, by courses taken for dual credit, and by high school size. Analysis of post-high school college entry data by matriculation, graduation, and grade point average are included.

Dual credit students took over 12,000 courses from the eleven public colleges in the North Dakota University System and from five nonpublic or out-of-state colleges. Students were divided between seniors, who took 9836 courses for dual credit, and juniors, who took 2442 courses for dual credit. Female students took more dual credit courses than did male students. Most students enrolled in more than one dual credit course. Although most dual credit courses were taken through two-year public colleges, most students enrolled in a four-year postsecondary institution following high school graduation. The study identifies by content area the courses taken for dual credit, with the most common dual credit courses being English composition, followed by mathematics and social studies.

High schools were identified in the study by enrollment size. Students in schools in middle two categories of enrollment size took more dual credit courses than did students in the smallest and largest school size categories.

The study reports the postsecondary completion for students who took dual credit courses in high school and enrolled in the North Dakota University System following graduation. Statistics for the dual credit cohort of 1998 indicate an 86 percent program or degree completion; for the 1999 cohort, a 70 percent completion. The study shows that throughout their time in the University System, all dual credit cohorts show an average grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

It would seem by studying degree completion statistics, advanced degree attainment, and grade point averages that these students entered college prepared to successfully complete a degree or program. Whether their success was because of dual credit courses or whether it is attributable to motivation or some other factors, however, requires additional study.