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Dual Enrollment Courses in Kentucky: High School Students’ Participation and Completion Rates

Region:
Appalachia
Description:
Kentucky is using dual enrollment as one strategy to improve access to postsecondary education for its high school students, particularly after passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 1 in 2009, which focused on improving college and career readiness. The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia undertook a descriptive study of participation in and completion of dual enrollment courses for Kentucky students in grades 11 and 12 from 2009/10 through 2012/13. The findings describe the characteristics of students participating in and completing dual enrollment courses, as well as how participation and course completion rates differ based on student, school, and postsecondary characteristics. About 20 percent of the state's public high school students in grades 11 and 12 pursued this opportunity at public postsecondary institutions with about 85 percent of the dual enrollment courses attempted being completed for credit. Participation rates varied by student characteristics, with higher participation rates for students in grade 12, female students, White students, students who were not English language learners, students not eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch, and those students with the highest grade point averages and ACT scores. Course completion rates varied by student characteristics, with lower completion rates for Black students, students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, students with C grade point averages or below, and students with low ACT scores. The findings raise important questions about differential course participation rates for students of different race/ethnicities, genders, and family incomes. In addition, online dual enrollment courses were increasingly attempted by students in grades 11 and 12 over time. The increase in students attempting courses online has important implications for the state as staff consider how best to provide access to dual enrollment courses in rural and remote locations where students may have limited access to online services.
Publication Type:
What's Happening
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Publication Date:
June 2016
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