|Institution:||The George Washington University|
|Full text PDF:||http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10090328|
There are only six virtual early college high schools in North Carolina. This exploratory case study examined one of these for the purpose of highlighting this unique school model. The study was guided by one research question: how do stakeholders experience a virtual early college high school? Using Eisner’s (2002) research design of educational criticism and connoisseurship, sub questions probed the stakeholders for their description, interpretation and evaluation of the virtual early college high school. Themes were drawn from the findings, and recommendations for further study are presented. The data in this single case study were collected by way of interviews, focus groups, observations, and document analysis. The data were analyzed using a three-tiered coding system. The structural codes were assigned, then in vivo coding was completed. Finally, focused coding was used to support the development of the themes, the last of Eisner’s dimensions. After the data were coded within stakeholder groups, the same three-level coding process took place across stakeholder groups. Analytical tools were also used throughout the study. Generally, the findings suggest that while the experiences of the stakeholders within this virtual early college high school are beneficial to the students, families, and the broader community, there are nonetheless barriers to this particular school model. While minimal, and managed within this context, the barriers suggest there is still much to be learned about virtual early college high schools, and progress to be made in relationships between K-12 school districts and institutions of higher education.