Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chair

Dr. Eugenia Toma

Executive Summary

This study intends to contribute to the literature by seeking evidence of a relationship between teacher characteristics and their high school students’ academic success in college. In this study, average college success is defined by six outcomes. The outcomes consist of the average first-year college GPA, average hours completed, percentage of students returning for a second year, percent of students receiving a GPA above a 3.0, percent of students completing 30 plus hours in their first year, and the average college math GPA. The analysis uses aggregated data at the school level from both the 2013 Kentucky High School Feedback Reports and the National Center for Education Statistics’ Common Core Data set.

There are two research questions that this study attempts to address. First, the research attempts to assess whether a high school’s concentration of teachers from particular Kentucky training programs has a significant effect on the average college success of the high school’s graduates. The second research question seeks to evaluate whether or not variability among teacher training institutions in a high school will have an impact on the average high school students’ college success.

The study found that few teacher training institutions mattered in the regression equations, but Alice Lloyd was notably significant in many cases. Additionally, college readiness, financial variables, and high schools located in Appalachia were control variables that were consistently significant in the models. Lastly, the study found that if there is a decrease in teacher training share (meaning an increase in the diversity of teacher training programs represented in the school) then there will be an increase in the dependent variables indicating successful college performance.