Higher Education Ph.D. Dissertations


A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes Associated with Ohio's Postsecondary Enrollment Options Program

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

William E. Knight (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Kenneth J. Ryan (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Michael D. Coomes (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Robert DeBard (Committee Member)


Dual enrollment programs, once created for the most advanced students, are now seen as a way to provide an accessible and affordable bridge to postsecondary education for a broader range of students. Research on the outcomes of such programs has been limited in scope and exists for only a few states. This quantitative study analyzed 10 years of postsecondary data from the Ohio Board of Regents to assess outcomes of traditional-aged college students enrolled in the state university system who previously participated in Ohio's Postsecondary Options Program (PSEOP) as a high school student compared with students of similar academic ability who did not participate in PSEOP. Astin's I-E-O Model served as the conceptual framework for this study. Several quantitative statistical methods including chi-squared, t-tests, hierarchical logistic regression, and analysis of covariance were used to assess student outcomes.

Ten research questions guided this study, eight of which were successfully answered. The first question descriptively compared demographic and environmental characteristics of students who participated in PSEOP with students who did not participate. The remaining questions investigated significant differences in students' major field of study choice, first-year retention rates, first-year cumulative grade point average, graduation cumulative grade point average, graduation rates, time-to-degree, and the pursuit of graduate or professional studies within one year of baccalaureate degree attainment. Questions relating to the choice of undergraduate institution and the pursuit of a second major were not answered due to insufficient data to adequately research the outcomes of the two student groups.

Key findings centered on attributes which were significantly related to PSEOP participation and outcomes to which PSEOP participation was a significant contributor. Gender, ethnicity, academic performance, and family characteristics were all related to the decision of whether or not to participate in PSEOP. Students that did participate in PSEOP showed this experience as a significant factor in choosing certain majors and had a statistically significantly shorter time-to-degree completion than those students who did not participate in PSEOP. Results from this study showed areas where participation in PSEOP could be improved, thus widening the access of higher education to a larger pool of students.