Date of Award

Spring 6-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Leodis Scott

Second Advisor

Ronald Chennault


In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) asked each state to design a plan to hold accountable their State Education Agency to provide flexible pathways to college and career with a commitment to ensure personalized learning and equitable opportunities for high school learners. With decades of effort to provide personalization through college and career pathways, the Vermont House and Senate Committees on Education holds its Agency of Education (VAOE) responsible for reporting how the Agency increases high school graduation rates and reduces dropout rates through the state-funded dual enrollment program. As State Education Agencies implement their ESSA plans, the literature provides a historical perspective of personalized learning, college and career readiness, and the dual enrollment pathway adopted by all 50 States. As a quantitative study of secondary data from the VAOE and the New England Secondary Schools Consortium (NESSC), this study explored the effect of program outcomes for subgroup dual enrollment voucher usage for gender, Special Education, Economically Disadvantaged, and the English Language Learner. The research further examined the number of high schools that participated in the state-funded dual enrollment program and its effects on graduation and dropout rates. The evidence for voucher usage and an increase in the number of participating high schools was not strong enough to suggest a positive effect exists to influence state graduation rates or reduce dropout rates. However, this study found that a decrease, rather than an increase in the number of participating high schools was a statistically significant predictor to reduce the state’s dropout rate. The insights gained through this study and its implications on dual enrollment configuration remain fruitful for future research. Therefore, it is only through continued examination of the nuances of state-sponsored dual enrollment programs and their configuration that state policymakers, State Education Agencies, high school leadership, and community college and university decision-makers can personalize learning through this pathway, and prepare its community of learners now and into the future.