Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Andrea Kayne


As dual credit courses have become more and more popular, both in the country as a whole, and in the state of Illinois, many students are taking advantage of the benefits that these courses can provide. The problem that this study focused on was whether or not the state of Illinois is doing all it can to ensure all students are able to benefit. The High School Longitudinal Study (2009) was a national study that provided valuable information on the academic environment in high schools at that time. One of the areas the study looked at was dual credit programs. In 2021, the Illinois Board of Higher Education released its 2020 state report on dual credit education. This study looked at the 2020 statistics and compared them with the data from 2009 in order to see if Illinois had used that wealth of information to improve its dual credit programs or not. Critical Race Theory (CRT) was the lens through which the data was compared. CRT, the very controversial theory being discussed across the country these days, identifies circumstances in which those in power legitimize ways in which minority citizens get treated unfairly in the United States. This study found that while the state of Illinois has made some positive changes to its dual credit programs, in far too many cases, ingrained racism in the education system is still influencing how programs are run. This is not an isolated problem in education. However, in this case educators must not turn a blind eye as many have done in the past. Every student deserves to benefit from saving money, finishing college sooner, and simply being better prepared to enter college, and any other benefit dual credit courses can offer. Schools must find ways to better market these classes to all students. They must focus on methods to help students who are taking the classes succeed, and they must work more closer with higher education institutions in order to provide an easy to follow map for all students to follow.