Committee Chair

Petzko, Vicki N.

Committee Member

Hinsdale, Bernard; Miller, Ted; Ellington, Lucien


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This research study was designed to examine the relationship between the use of open and closed student selection systems for the enrollment of students in Advanced Placement (AP) educational services at the high school level and student academic achievement. The quantitative portion of this study examined the relationship between the use of a particular student selection system and stakeholder perceptions of a school’s educational environment, while the qualitative portion examined the stakeholder perceptions of student selection systems. In order to accomplish these goals student scores on AP examinations from the 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 academic school years were collected from high schools across the state of Georgia. Based on the analysis of course-level AP examination data, it was determined that there was strong evidence of a statistically significant positive relationship between student academic achievement and the use of a closed enrollment student selection system. The qualitative portion of the study involved interviews with students, teachers, and AP coordinators. The interviews were examined for information concerning stakeholder perceptions related to the effectiveness of student selection systems and their relationship to a school’s educational environment. After reviewing the qualitative data, it became apparent that the use of a closed student selection system could not explain the totality of a selection system’s possible impact. Four important factors emerged: the need to consider the choice of a student selection system in concert with the basic organizational vision school stakeholders have for the school and its AP program, a need to involve all organizational stakeholders in the course selection process, the establishment of strong, positive relationships between students and teachers, and a need to make certain that students receive academically rigorous preparation before entering the AP program. This led to the creation of four recommendations for action aimed at informing school leaders about possible practices that might help increase student academic achievement in AP courses. The four recommendations were to involve all stakeholders in the course-selection process, to establish strong, positive relationships between students and teachers, to insure that students receive academically rigorous preparation, and to create bridging opportunities for academically unprepared students.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Advanced placement programs (Education) -- Evaluation; Academic achievement; Educational equalization


Advanced Placement Open Closed Enrollment


Educational Leadership

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xii, 219 leaves