WWC review of this study

Does Concurrent Enrollment Improve College Access, Success, Time-to-Degree and Earnings? A Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Colorado Students. Technical Report. Report No. 19-15B

Buckley, Pamela; Pendergast, Philip; Klopfenstein, Kristin (2020). Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED616064

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    25,262
     Students
    , grades
    11-PS

Reviewed: August 2023

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
College Degree Attainment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Earned any degree

Concurrent enrollment (CE) programs vs. Business as usual

5 Years

Full sample;
13,830 students

37.00

22.00

Yes

 
 
17
 
Show Supplemental Findings

Two Year Degree

Concurrent enrollment (CE) programs vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Full sample;
4,206 students

13.00

5.00

Yes

 
 
24

Four year degree

Concurrent enrollment (CE) programs vs. Business as usual

4 Years

Full sample;
4,687 students

26.00

18.00

Yes

 
 
11
College Enrollment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

College Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment (CE) programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
25,262 students

77.00

52.00

Yes

 
 
25
 
Earnings outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Annual earnings during year 5 after high school graduation

Concurrent enrollment (CE) programs vs. Business as usual

5 Years

Full sample;
8,866 students

16051.51

14749.06

Yes

 
 
3
 
Progressing in College outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

College persistence - enrolled in a second year of higher education

Concurrent enrollment (CE) programs vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Full sample;
13,830 students

82.00

77.00

Yes

 
 
8
 


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 5% English language learners

  • Other or unknown: 100%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
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    Colorado
  • Race
    Other or unknown
    100%
  • Ethnicity
    Other or unknown    
    100%
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)    
    38%
    No FRPL    
    62%

Setting

The study took place in 172 high schools throughout Colorado. The setting focused on Colorado’s Concurrent Enrollment program, where high schools were matched for the analytic sample based on whether dual enrollment rates were either above the state median or below the state median.

Study sample

A total of 25,262 students in grades 11 and 12 were included in the study, from 2010 to 2014, consisting of five total cohorts. Forty percent of the student sample identified as being a part of a racial or ethnic minority group. Thirty-eight percent of the student sample was eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and 5% identified as English Language Learners.

Intervention Group

This study examines access to college level courses while in high school through Colorado’s Concurrent Enrollment program in postsecondary level courses while enrolled in high school. Through the program, high school students that participate in the Concurrent Enrollment program can enroll in postsecondary courses, with no tuition costs, earning credits that are transferable to any public Colorado university. The intervention condition was defined as 11th and 12th grade students who attempted Concurrent Enrollment credits while attending a high school that offered “ample” dual enrollment opportunities. Ample opportunities were defined as schools where the number of dual enrollment credits attempted in 2008-09 were above the state median.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition consisted of 11th and 12th grade students who did not attempt any dual enrollment credits while attending otherwise similar high schools that offered “few” dual enrollment opportunities. Few opportunities were defined as schools where the number of dual enrollment credits attempted in 2008-09 were below the state median.

Support for implementation

The study did not provide support for dual enrollment courses.

 

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