Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Hal Knight

Committee Members

Gunapala Edirisooriya, Louise L. MacKay, Shirley Morgan


This study evaluated three HCOP projects to determine, describe, and assess their overall effectiveness and identify successful strategies used by these projects to reach their specific objectives. Demographic and scholastic data were collected about 393 HCOP participants at the three HCOP projects in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia during the years 1990-1999. Detailed information about the activities used to incorporate the HCOP legislative purposes into the programs was also collected.

Sixty-seven percent of HCOP participants were Caucasian and 78% were female. Scholastic data was limited to data from the EKU and ETSU HCOP programs. The average high school GPA score for HCOP participants in this study was 3.34 on a 4.0 scale. The average ACT score was 20.6. When compared with institutional data, HCOP students had a higher GPA than the regular first-year college students at the specific institutions. The average ACT scores were similar for the HCOP and regular students taking into account the standard error of measurement.

Ninety-three percent HCOP participants enrolled in college and 77% of them majored in a health profession programs. Fifty-eight percent of the HCOP participants graduated from a program of study and of those who graduated, 87% were from a health profession program. Eighty-seven percent of the HCOP participants were employed in a health profession. HCOP projects were required to conduct activities that addressed two or more legislative purposes. These legislative purposes were recruitment, preliminary education, facilitating entry, retention and dissemination of financial aid information. The activities of each project were summarized and the impact was discussed.

Students who participated in HCOP programs were likely to enroll and graduate from a health related major and become employed in a health profession. The researcher recommended the need for (a) individualized retention strategies to prevent or minimize attrition rates among participants, (b) the development of a uniform participant profile that would allow for accurate comparisons across institutions, (c) HCOP grantees to be more supportive of evaluative studies and, (d) dissemination of research findings on HCOP programs and their impact.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.