Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Education




Dr. Vicki Schwean


Under dual enrollment, high school students take college or university courses from post-secondary institutions or external agencies for both post-secondary and high school credits. Dual credits include college/university, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses. This study uses hierarchical linear modelling to determine whether grade in school (e.g., grade 12) or enrollment in multiple dual-credit courses impacts student engagement before and after moderation by leadership and dual-enrollment related variables. In this study, dual-credit students (n = 676) in New York and Ontario completed the Classroom Survey of Student Engagement (CLASSE), an adapted version of the National Survey of Student Engagement, regarding their dual-credit courses. They also completed the revised Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 5x) to rate their dual-credit instructors’ transformational leadership. The dual-credit instructors (n = 43) completed the MLQ 5x to rate their principals’ or college deans’ transformational leadership. Research sites in New York and Ontario were included to capture various dual-enrollment delivery models. The analysis phase of the research involved two main steps: establishing the reliability and validity of the instruments and performing hierarchical linear modelling. Exploratory factor analyses (EFAs) established the construct validity of both the MLQ 5x and CLASSE with dual-enrollment students—a new context for both instruments. The EFAs and reliability tests revealed that the MLQ 5x was a suitable tool for measuring students’ perceptions of their dual-credit instructors’ transformational leadership. Initial EFAs on the CLASSE revealed clear facets of student engagement but showed several cross-loading questionnaire items, so further psychometric work was conducted to determine a subset of items with high factor loadings, low cross loadings, and acceptable reliability. This reduced subset was then used to generate average student-engagement scores for use in 2-level and 3-level hierarchical linear models that explored student, teacher, and school effects on student engagement for those in dual-credit programs. Hierarchical linear modelling revealed that teachers’ transformational leadership and the type of dual-credit teacher (high school or post-secondary) had a significant impact at the .05 level on the relationship between enrollment in multiple dual-credit courses and student engagement. This research can aid in the design of effective dual-enrollment programs.