Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Jill Channing, Terence Hicks, Jane Honeycutt


The purpose of this non-experimental, quantitative, comparative study was to compare academic outcomes (final GPA, retention, graduation rates) and student engagement measures of students who enroll in an honors program at a Tennessee community college versus those who were honors-eligible but did not participate in an honors program. Findings will help determine whether or not honors programs are associated with gains in various student outcome and engagement measures. Archival data at the participating institution were used to explore retention rates, GPA, and graduation rates. The sample for this study included 333 honors students at a community college in Tennessee from 2015 through 2019. To participate in honors, students must obtain a 3.5 or higher high school GPA or a 25 or higher composite ACT score. The sample also included 2,970 ACT and high school GPA matched peers who were eligible to participate in honors but who did not participate. Additionally, Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) survey data were used to explore student engagement measures. Independent-samples t test or a two-way contingency table using crosstabs were utilized to evaluate each of the respective research questions. Findings from this study demonstrate there are significantly improved academic outcomes and engagement measures for students who participate in honors at the participating community college when compared to eligible nonparticipants.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.