Hill, Catherine L. (2020-05). Teaching in a Transformative Dual-Enrollment Program: A Study of a System of Support for High School Teachers During the Initial Year of Implementation. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • As the emphasis on college readiness intensifies, the demand for access to college-level coursework for high school students increases. Although Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate have been traditional sources of strong preparatory coursework for postsecondary education (Cohen & Mehta, 2017), dual-credit or dual-enrollment programs are playing an increasing role in supporting students' college-readiness needs (An & Taylor, 2015; Miller et al., 2017, 2018). The purpose of this study was to investigate two participating teachers' experiences with a local system of support as they sought to implement a transformative dual-enrollment program. Throughout this action research study, I considered the issues faced by high school teachers related to stakeholders, instructional resources, university and local policies, and personal cognitive conflict during the initial year of implementation. I examined the literature to identify means of supporting teachers during implementation and used this research to design a system of support including a preprofessional development opportunity, accessible resources, and opportunities for reflection for two onboarding teachers. I also created a description for the role of OnRamps consultant for the person acting as a part of and maintaining the system of support. The preprofessional development and a focus group interview occurred before the two new teachers attended required program training. Throughout the fall of 2019, I updated resources, acted as OnRamps consultant, and conducted monthly semistructured interviews that also served as times for teachers to reflect. These activities provided data that I analyzed to better understand teachers' experiences and to enhance both the system of support and the role of OnRamps consultant. The findings showed that the two teachers' experiences with the system of support and the degree to which the system enhanced teacher agency differed in terms of the teachers' characteristics and perspectives, the presence or absence of a team in the context of implementation, and the teachers' engagement with the system. However, the findings also showed the potential value of having designed elements of local support in place for OnRamps teachers. To improve future implementation of the dual-enrollment program, local campus and district leaders should consider the selection of teachers and identify ways to support teachers as they experience the demands of course implementation.

publication date

  • May 2020