Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction

Department or School/College

School of Education

Committee Chair

Sandra Williams

Commitee Members

Linda Eagleheart-Thomas, Martin Horejsi, Patty Kero


Dual Enrollment, Montana, STEM fields, Two-Year colleges, Women in STEM majors


University of Montana


The purpose of this non-experimental, descriptive, quantitative study was to describe the impact high school dual enrollment coursework has had on initial enrollment of women with STEM majors in Montana two-year colleges. The study was designed to find whether or not differences existed for access (initial enrollment), persistence (to third semester), and success (associate's degree, certificate, or transfer to a four-year institution within 150% of program length). The literature review highlighted the need for studies to address the issue of few women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations. One goal of dual enrollment in Montana is to ease transitions from high school to college, including underrepresented populations such as women in STEM fields. The scope of this study was to collect, organize, and interpret data to describe the effect of that effort for women enrolling in STEM majors at two-year colleges in Montana. Baseline information established the demographics of young women who participated in dual enrollment in Montana high schools during 2007-2009. Data analysis described results using attributes of gender, dual enrollment, access, persistence, and success for those enrolled in STEM fields. Results indicated more young women than young men take advantage of dual enrollment in high school and more women than men with dual-enrollment credit initially enroll in college. More men than women major in a STEM field and more men persist and graduate within the STEM fields. Data indicated that 221 students enrolled in a Montana two-year college with DE/DC credit during 2007-2009. Of those, eight women chose STEM majors, six persisted to the third semester, and two completed. It is recommended that a mixed-methods study be conducted to give a deeper level of understanding for enrollment trends and career choice. Longitudinal studies should also be conducted as dual enrollment grows within the state of Montana. Further studies would enable educational stakeholders to make informed decisions to create meaningful change for women in STEM majors.



© Copyright 2013 Penny Jane Jakes