Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

Stephanie Barham, William Flora, Donald Good


The purpose of this quantitative study was to see if there was a significant difference in the mean American College Test (ACT) scores and high school grade point average (HSGPA) between students who attained a bachelor’s degree within 6 years of starting college and those who did not attain a bachelor’s degree within 6 years of starting college. Data from 2005-2013 high school graduates from one high school with only academic course choices were used. A series of independent t-tests were used to compare the mean ACT scores and HSGPA of students from both groups.

The goal was to find out whether high school educators can use existing high school data to know whether students who intend to continue their postsecondary studies at degree granting postsecondary institutions have the necessary preparation not just to be admitted to a postsecondary institution, but to attain a bachelor’s degree. The results showed that for this group of participants, the mean ACT scores and HSGPA were significantly different between students who attained a bachelor’s degree within 6 years and those who did not. Using Cohen’s d to calculate the effect size for the results, ACT Composite, ACT English, ACT Science, and HSGPA were found to have a large effect size, and ACT Math and ACT Reading were found to have a medium effect size. HSGPA had the largest effect size.

The implications from the results are that high school personnel at all high schools should examine available data to see if it can be used as indicators of bachelor’s degree attainment with the purpose of providing additional support to students who intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree, but whose data indicate that they may not have the necessary preparation to successfully complete a degree.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.