Educational Administration, Department of


First Advisor

Marilyn L. Grady

Date of this Version



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership and Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Marilyn L. Grady. Lincoln, Nebraska: November 2019

Copyright 2019 Trentee Bush


This exploratory study was based on interviews with twelve participants, four community college dual credit coordinators and eight high school administrators (principals and guidance counselors). The purpose was to understand the role of dual credit STEM courses in rural Nebraska high schools and the impact these courses had on the institution. The interview process revealed the lack of uniformity in dual credit processes throughout the state.

The concept of dual credit is widely discussed. The potential benefits and challenges of these courses and programs are vast. Without national legislation, each state can make determinations and decisions about state-wide policies related to dual credit. This study was designed to understand how the policies in Nebraska impacted the institutions and the students.

The impact of dual credit courses, both in-house and online, were discussed by all the individuals who were interviewed. The impacts are presented as the themes that were revealed through the interview process. The impact themes were institutional, financial, student-based, and academic implications as well as the need for greater marketing of the courses and programs. Not all dual credit coordinators or guidance counselors were supporters of dual credit courses and programs. Although all saw the potential benefits for students, some admitted that this was not a “best fit” for all students or situations.

Advisor: Marilyn L. Grady