Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Thomas Lipscomb

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Stanley Benigno

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

David Lee

Committee Member 5 School



University-Model® schools seek to blend attributes of homeschooling with traditional schooling by transferring a significant portion of classroom time to a satellite classroom, typically the student’s home. Proponents suggest the model lends itself to better prepared and well-balanced graduates due to the forced ownership required of students in terms of time management, the development of independent study habits, increased balance of family life, and subsequent parental guidance; however, very little research exists to validate these claims. These tenants of the model are in line with recent research and theories suggesting a more holistic approach, beyond academic metrics, to ensure college and career readiness. Over 170 recent graduates from 15 different University-Model® high schools responded to the questionnaire which captured key self-reported variables such as high school grade point average (HSGPA), highest ACT composite scores, reported time-management practices in high school and college, and beliefs regarding general preparedness in high school and college. These variables were analyzed to determine if relationships existed among preparedness levels and first-year college grade point average (FYGPA), and also to gain a better understanding of the college readiness levels of University-Model® graduates in terms first year college performance. Results of this study suggest that University-Model® graduates are academically well prepared for the transition to college, are confident that their high school program has adequately prepared them for college, and appear to be making wise decisions regarding their time management practices in college. FYGPAs of University-Model® graduates are significantly higher than students from other educational models with identical ACT scores. Regression analyses suggest that students within the model earning higher HSGPAs and ACT scores are performing better in the first year of college, but overall the connection between the high school academic variables and FYGPA is weaker within the University-Model® population than in the previous studies of non-University-Model® students. These results seem to indicate factors beyond academic preparedness explain the success of University-Model® graduates and further validate claims made by proponents of the model who suggest its blended approach to education, combining attributes of homeschooling with traditional schooling, is producing academically strong, well-prepared, and well-adjusted college freshmen.