Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Kristen B. Crossney, Ph.D

Committee Member

Michelle L. Wade, Ph.D



The purpose of this study was to examine policy frameworks of dual credit programs in the Rio Grande Valley and determine if areas for improvements existed within the institutional policy frameworks of local partnerships. The Rio Grande Valley is an area in the southernmost region of South Texas, which includes Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties. The area lies along the northern bank of the Rio Grande, which separates Mexico from the United States. This study is relevant since this Institution of Higher Education (IHE) sustains one of the largest dual credit partnership networks in the country and literature on topics of dual credit program policies at their local levels of governance is sparse.

This study examined the perceptions college dual credit administrators and high school administrators hold on the effectiveness of institutional policies on program outcomes in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. An interview instrument was utilized to understand the perceptions program administrators had toward the effectiveness of dual credit program policies on student success. For this, quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed, interpreted, and presented based on relevance to program policies between the dual credit program at South Texas College and partnering high schools.

Findings within this study support other research conducted on dual credit programs. This was accomplished by placing a greater emphasis on the need for dual credit program stakeholders and researchers alike to be mindful of the importance of institutional policies within local program governance. Specifically, this study outlines that program outcomes can be improved vis-a-vi a greater collaboration between local dual credit partners and framing of individualized program policies that are mutually supportive of partnership goals.