Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jennifer A. Keeley


Organizations that deliver programs to promote the entry of students from marginalized populations into the U.S. health workforce often struggle to demonstrate the effective achievement of outcomes, and face diminishing fiscal resources. This study was an empirical examination of the extent and manner that a statewide, precollege, health careers exploration program fostered the matriculation of underrepresented minority students into health degree education programs. Schneider and Stevenson's aligned ambitions framework provided the theoretical foundation. The research questions for this study examined the relationship between program participation and the successful health degree matriculation of racial minority students based on the extent of participation, the type of participation, and the extent and type of participation controlling for gender, profession, and region using a quantitative trend analysis of archived program data and longitudinal, preexisting matriculation data. Completion of the analysis used sequential logistic regression. The selection criteria for study included high school students who participated in the program between 2006 to 2010 and who subsequently enrolled in college (N = 246). No statistically significant relationships between program participation and matriculation into health care education programs were found resulting in the recommendation to reassess and revise data collection and analysis processes for future official program evaluation. The resulting white paper recommends that Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC) career exploration program designers create continuous and effective review and evaluation processes to ultimately enable the positive social impact of a more representative number of students from marginalized populations into the U.S. health workforce.