Date of Award


Degree Name

Leadership Studies


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Teresa Eagle

Second Advisor

Elaine Gayton

Third Advisor

Barbara L. Nicholson


Middle college high schools in America identify potential college students who are at-risk in the traditional high school environment. These students are placed on the college campus to take high school and college classes and receive dual credit for the latter. The program is specifically designed to keep these pupils in high school, graduate them, and send them on to higher education. This investigation focused on the leadership style of the administrators of both the middle college high schools and their traditional feeder high schools and its relationship to four indicators of effectiveness: attendance rate, dropout rate, graduation rate, and college going rate. Thirty-four middle college high schools were identified along with 465 of their feeder institutions. All of the administrators of middle college high schools and 25% of the principals of the traditional high schools were sent the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) along with a Demographic Survey. Pearson correlations were produced and t-tests for Equality of Means were applied to the data using an alpha of .05. Ancillary findings were obtained through the same method. No association was established between the leadership style of the principals and the four indicators of effectiveness. This study did not establish a difference between the leadership styles of the principals of the middle college and traditional high schools, although all of the leadership scored in the top 30th percentile on the LPI, indicating that transformational leadership was popular and in practice. No significant difference was detected between the two types of high schools when examining average daily attendance and dropout rate. However, an important differentiation was demonstrated between graduation and college rates, with the middle college high schools recording much higher success. Ancillary suggestions included that women and older administrators employ transformational leadership behaviors more frequently than men and younger administrators. School size was inversely related to attendance and graduation rates. Finally, socioeconomic status of the student was positively correlated to dropout rate and inversely correlated with attendance, graduation, and college going rates.


Educational leadership.

School attendance.

High school dropouts.

High school graduates.