Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Peter J. Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser

Third Advisor

Dr. Elliot C. Ostler

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface


Along with a high grade point average and high standardized test scores, access and success in higher education is impacted by the courses on a student's transcript. Advanced Placement (AP) courses have set up a cooperative endeavor between secondary schools and colleges, increasing the likelihood of higher levels of educational attainment and early college success. An AP culture which challenges high school students in taking more advanced placement courses can serve as the greatest impact for them as they are bound for college and academic success. This study examined the relationship of AP courses and student achievement as measured by (1) advanced placement course grades, (2) advanced placement test scores. (3) average weighted Grade Point Averages, (4) college entrance ACT scores and (5) engagement as measured by high school participation in (a) athletics, (b) performing arts, and (c) clubs. The study also measured first year university achievement by (1) end of first year university overall grade point averages (2) end of first year university credit hours earned, and (3) continued enrollment for a second year of university studies. Overall findings indicate that students who took advantage of the AP culture provided by this high school and completed a higher number of AP courses achieved a higher rate of academic success and engagement in high school and also were set for a more academically successful first year of university studies.


Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska for the Requirements of the Degree Doctor of Education. Copyright 2011 Gregory E. Tiemann

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