School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Rick Bragg


Appalachia, Early College High School. Project Based Learning, Small School Reform


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology


The Early College High School (ECHS) model of education became a reality in North Carolina in 2002, and although some rich data resulting from research targeting the success of ECHS is starting to emerge; the focus is primarily broad in its comparisons of subjects attending ECHS with those attending traditional high schools (THS). This quantitative correlational research study utilized archived student achievement data and data collected from AdvancEd student surveys to explore possible relationships that exist between school setting, student achievement on required standardized tests, and feelings of school connectedness for students. The study revealed statistically significant positive relationships between school setting and higher achievement scores on the math I end of course test, and students’ perceptions of their respective school for the standards, Purpose and Direction, Governance and Leadership, and Teaching and Assessing for Learning as indicated by student survey results on the AdvancEd student survey. No statistical relationship was found between school setting and achievement scores and the English II end of course test and students’ perception of their respective school for the standards Resources and Support Systems, and Using Results for Continuous Improvement as indicated by student survey results on the AdvancEd student survey.