Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



This qualitative study sought to provide a general perception of admissions offices of secondary institutions have toward the Diploma Program through a grounded theory approach. The first goal of the study investigated the nature of credit awards for a student’s high school academic performance. Specific attention was paid to the processes institutions use for determining credit awards, policies associated with credit awards, and perceptions related credit awards. The second goal investigated admissions policies, processes, and perceptions associated with credit awards and the DP specifically. Finally, the third goal sought to illustrate the development and/or changes in the perceptions and actions admissions offices have in relation to the DP. Twenty institutions were randomly selected from US News & World Report’s Top 50 American Colleges. Institutions first completed a guiding question instrument that was followed by a telephone/email interview further investigating emerging understandings. Data gathered from these avenues were continually cross-compared and then triangulated with information found on each institution’s admissions websites, general catalogues, and other publicity type publications. Theoretical explanations for the phenomena of university perceptions and actions were generated through coded data, established categories, and memoing of relationships.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Culross, Rita

Included in

Education Commons