Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Victor Hernandez-Gantes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert F. Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amber Dumford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Oscar A. Aliaga, Ph.D.


Career Clanning, Accelerated Students, Colleges, Dual Enrollment, Higher Education


Acceleration program options have grown rapidly in Florida and have been used to help students pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences that former dual enrolled students had with selecting a major and a career. A snowball sampling approach was used to identify ten participants from the southwestern region of Florida with 12 or more credit hours from dual enrollment. Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) was the conceptual framework used to help guide this study. The instrumentation for data collection included a short survey followed by a semi-structured interview. The data collected from the participants were coded and analyzed using a thematic analysis process. Key themes related to student perspectives on acceleration programs were viewing participation as getting ahead in their education and experiencing what college life is like. Regarding the student's choice of an academic major, two themes were identified: Having general ideas about their major choices before taking acceleration coursework and altering career choices after participation in their program. About impact of participation, two themes were determined including the role of counselors on making career choices and providing related supports, and the opportunity to confirm choices for academic major. Overall, eight out of ten students that participated in this study remained undecided or changed their major/career path.