Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher (Chair)

Committee Member

Dr. Dibya Choudhuri

Committee Member

Dr. Gary Marx


Michigan joined Arkansas, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Rhode Island in the high school reform effort. The Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC), mandated in 2006, contained a new set of statewide graduation requirements. This qualitative case study used focus group interviews to examine the perceptions of students, teachers, parents, and key administrators in a southeastern Michigan high school about the effects of the MMC on students’ performances and outcomes as they relate to Career and Technical Education (CTE) and dual enrollment, and about problems that emerged from the MMC. Five themes emerged from the data: Transparency and Communication for Dual Enrollment, Loss of CTE and Elective Programs, Acceptance of the Status Quo, Need for Flexibility, and Support for CTE, Jobs, and Careers. Recommendations for practice included expanding and promoting CTE courses and program offerings for students in the high school and offering (MMC) academic credit in CTE classes. Other recommendations included expansion of articulated and escrowed college credit offered in CTE courses, communicating the criteria to all stakeholders, expanding the advancedplacement course offerings to students, and expanding and promoting interventions currently offered to students to help them meet the MMC requirements. Other recommendations included making the MMC more functional and applicable for a wider range of students, tracking and following all cohorts of MMC graduates, and assembling or reconvening groups to make adjustments to the MMC policy. Further, schools and school districts need to follow the rules related to dual enrollment as stated in the Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act of 1996 and to offer an incentive similar to the Promise Scholarship to students who meet the MMC requirements.


Additional committee member: Dr. David Leapard

Included in

Education Commons