Oregon's postsecondary attainment goal for 2025, adopted in 2011, calls for 40 percent of Oregon adults to have a bachelor's degree or higher, 40 percent to have an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate, and the remaining 20 percent to have a high school diploma or equivalent (S. 253, Or. 2011). As in other states a central strategy for increasing postsecondary attainment in Oregon is to promote accelerated college credit options--such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual credit, and dual enrollment courses--that enable high school students to earn college credit. Oregon has invested heavily in the accelerated college credit strategy, with particular attention to student groups that have historically not had access to these courses. The study focuses on options offered between 2005/06 and 2012/13 through Oregon community colleges, including dual credit (in which high school students earn both high school and college credit by taking a college course at their high school) and dual enrollment (in which high school students earn both high school and college credit by taking a college course at the college campus or online), and on the characteristics of the students who enroll in these classes. The study also explores the relationship between students' participation in dual credit and later education outcomes, including high school graduation, postsecondary enrollment, and postsecondary persistence. Key findings include the following: (1) Oregon public colleges have many accelerated college credit options, but their cost, eligibility requirements, and geographic coverage vary greatly across institutions; (2) Oregon's rate of community college dual credit participation is higher than the national average; (3) Oregon students taking dual credit courses through a community college enroll and earn credit in an average of three dual credit courses during their time in high school; (4) More than 90 percent of students pass the community college dual credit courses in which they have enrolled; (5) Community college dual credit students are more likely to be White, female, high achievers, and not eligible for the federal school lunch program; (6) Male students in all racial/ethnic groups participate in community college dual credit at lower rates than female students do, and in each racial/ethnic group the gender gap in participation is similar; (7) In each racial/ethnic group students eligible for the federal school lunch program participate in community college dual credit at lower rates than students who are not eligible; (8) The rates at which students who participate in dual credit programs graduate from high school, enroll in college, and persist in the first year of college are higher than the state average; and (9) At the five community colleges examined in a dual enrollment analysis, participation in dual enrollment was low but grew over time. Dual enrollment students had lower achievement on state math and reading tests and higher rates of eligibility for the federal school lunch program than dual credit students had. Oregon stakeholders can use the study results to better understand the breadth and characteristics of accelerated college credit options in the state; dual credit programs' equity gaps--which can inform outreach efforts to students participating at lower rates, such as rural, economically disadvantaged, and racial/ethnic minority students; and data that should be reported to the state to conduct analyses that improve monitoring and evaluation of accelerated college credit programs. Nationally, this study offers an example to other states of potentially useful analyses to inform improvements to these programs. The following are appended: (1) Literature review; (2) Data and methods; (3) Detailed accelerated college credit program information; (4) Detailed results; and (5) Dual credit courses by subject.
ERIC DescriptorsAcademic Persistence, Acceleration (Education), Advanced Placement, Advanced Placement Programs, College Bound Students, College Credits, College Readiness, Community Colleges, Correlation, Demography, Disadvantaged Youth, Dual Enrollment, Economically Disadvantaged, Gender Differences, High School Graduates, High School Students, Institutional Characteristics, Instructor Coordinators, Minority Group Students, Program Descriptions, Semi Structured Interviews, Socioeconomic Status, Student Characteristics, Student Diversity, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Surveys
Northwest | Publication Type:
Descriptive Study | Publication
Date: March 2017