English Ph.D. Dissertations


Toward Seamless Transition? Dual Enrollment and the Composition Classroom

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


English/Rhetoric and Writing

First Advisor

Sue Carter Wood (Advisor)


Since their inception nearly twenty years ago, Dual Enrollment Programs (also known as Post-Secondary Enrollment Programs or PSEOs) have been touted in the state of Ohio and elsewhere as avenues of "seamless transition" for students as they segue from secondary to post-secondary education. Specifically, participants in these programs can obtain both high school and college credit for college coursework taken in either a high school or college setting. However, scant data exists as to the effectiveness of PSEOs as transitioning agents in Ohio and nationwide; furthermore, data regarding PSEO writing classes is nearly non-existent. Given the historically tenuous nature of the relationship between high school and college writing instruction, this research study delved into the purported "seamlessness" of PSEOs and assessed the program's claims. First, the study explored the history of Dual Enrollment Programs in Ohio and particularly at The University of Findlay, a private university in Northwest Ohio. Written surveys and oral interviews of teachers and students were then conducted at three places of PSEO composition instruction affiliated with The University of Findlay: the traditional college writing classroom, the UF-USA (high school campus) site, and the non-traditional setting (high school students grouped homogeneously on college campuses). In all, 24 respondents participated, and their responses yielded information regarding PSEO teacher pedagogy, impact of place on PSEO writing instruction, and PSEO's claims of seamless transition. Findings here conclude that high school and college composition instruction do not necessarily flow seamlessly, one to the other, as PSEOs suggest. Moreover, this study's sampling proves that secondary and post-secondary writing instruction are rarely aligned given the current curricular, state, and national mandates public schools operate under, and as such, "seamless transition" cannot occur amidst the differing agendas of high school and college writing instruction. Furthermore, this study posits that the issue of "place" of PSEO instruction is pertinent to the program's claims and argues that "place" of PSEO writing instruction may actually serve to re-inscribe already established gaps, assumptions, and misconceptions between writing instructors at secondary and post-secondary levels.