Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Jane King

Abstract

The purpose of this sequential explanatory case study was to explore the impact of the North Carolina High School to Community College Articulation Agreement on student motivation to (a) perform well in the course as defined by the State of North Carolina award of college credit, (b) graduate high school, (c) pursue college or postsecondary training in course content, and (d) select a career in the course field. The study utilized quantitative data collected through student surveys then triangulated qualitative student focus group and teacher focus group interview data in order to establish statistical themes for narrative analysis. The research focused on Career and Technical Education courses in the concentration of Business Information Technology at a rural high school, Grades 9 through 12, located in the piedmont region of North Carolina.

The condition of the school caused school leaders to focus attention on academic programs in order to increase student achievement. Data compiled from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's report cards, national illiteracy statistics, and national, state, and local dropout rates were utilized in order to justify the study's purpose. In addition, the school's faculty expressed concerns that students consistently lacked motivation.

The conditions of the targeted school warranted the exploration of the North Carolina High School to Community College Articulation Agreement in order to increase student achievement through a new approach. The results from the study led the researcher to conclude that the opportunities provided by the North Carolina High School to Community College Articulation Agreement had positive effects on student motivation by stimulating the student participants' thought processes toward improvement of grades, graduating high school, pursuing college or postsecondary training, and thinking about career fields. The researcher's recommendation was for the school improvement team to research, analyze, and implement a plan of action that will educate, monitor, and facilitate the earning of college credits via the North Carolina High School to Community College Articulation Agreement.