Date of Award



© 2018 Marina Ashmar Giovannini

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Second Advisor

Joel Lowsky

Third Advisor

William Guerriero


Dual enrollment continues to experience rapid growth throughout the United States and is viewed as one of the best ways to prepare students for college. Hispanics represent the largest and fastest growing minority ethnic population in the nation, but they are underrepresented in most dual enrollment programs. Although previous research has demonstrated that dual enrollment programs produce positive outcomes concerning academic achievement and college completion, few studies have captured the experiences of Hispanic students in dual enrollment. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to investigate how Hispanic students in an Arizona community college perceive how their experiences in dual enrollment in high school prepared them for college. Two research questions guided this study: (1) How do Hispanic community college students understand and describe their experience with dual enrollment classes? (2) How do Hispanic community college students perceive and relate the role of dual enrollment in their academic success? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 participants who took dual credit courses at six different high schools. Data analysis followed Moustakas’ (1994) three-step process: Epoche, Transcendental-Phenomenological Reduction, and Imaginative Variation. Six themes emerged from this study: (1) significance of education to the Hispanic family and community; (2) encouragement and support; (3) high school dual enrollment as a positive transition to college; (4) social integration; (5) skills acquired from dual enrollment participation; and (6) obstacles to participation in dual enrollment in high school. Results revealed that participation in the dual enrollment program in high school exposed students to the academic rigor of college and helped them understand norms and acquire skills and behaviors to integrate into college and persist successfully. Findings also showed that Hispanic students face obstacles to dual enrollment participation. Policymakers and educators can encourage dual enrollment participation by implementing policies and procedures that minimize barriers to enrollment.


Ed.D. Dissertation