WWC review of this study

Dual-credit courses and the road to college: Experimental evidence from Tennessee.

Hemelt, S. W., Schwartz, N. L., & Dynarski, S. M. (2020). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(3) 686-719 Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1257048

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    43,839
     Students
    , grades
    11-PS

Reviewed: January 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
College enrollment outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

College enrollment in any college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
43,839 students

60.50

61.00

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

College enrollment - 4 year college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
43,839 students

35.60

33.00

No

--

College enrollment - 4 year college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

White; Not Hispanic or Latino;
35,168 students

35.70

33.00

No

--

College enrollment - 4 year college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Black; Hispanic or Latino;
7,502 students

32.70

30.00

No

--

College enrollment in any college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Black; Hispanic or Latino;
7,502 students

54.20

54.00

No

--

College enrollment in any college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

White; Not Hispanic or Latino;
35,168 students

62.50

63.00

No

--

College enrollment - 2 year college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
43,839 students

23.60

27.00

No

--

College enrollment - 2 year college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

White; Not Hispanic or Latino;
35,168 students

25.60

29.00

No

--

College enrollment - 2 year college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Black; Hispanic or Latino;
7,502 students

20.30

23.00

No

--
Completing secondary school (secondary school) outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Graduate from high school

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

Full sample;
61,766 students

92.80

93.00

No

--
Progressing in college outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

College credits earned

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
20,069 students

22.71

22.40

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

College credits earned

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

White; Not Hispanic or Latino;
16,425 students

23.63

23.20

No

--

Pass any math course first year of college

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
15,259 students

51.00

50.00

No

--

Earned 30 or more credits

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
20,069 students

34.80

34.00

No

--

College credits earned

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

White; Not Hispanic or Latino;
16,425 students

23.63

23.20

No

--

College credits earned

Dual Enrollment Programs vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Black; Hispanic or Latino;
3,060 students

18.15

18.10

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 6% English language learners

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%
  • Race
    Asian
    1%
    Black
    12%
    Not specified
    7%
    White
    80%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    5%
    Not Hispanic
    95%
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    Tennessee

Setting

The study took place in 103 high schools in Tennessee who offered a new dual-credit Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry (AAT) course.

Study sample

In the full sample, half of the students were male, 80 percent were White, 12 percent were Black, one percent were Asian, and five percent were Hispanic. Six percent of the students were English language learners.

Intervention Group

The intervention was a state-created dual-credit algebra course. Teachers in schools in the intervention group participated in a two-day summer training on a new set of college-algebra course standards developed by a team of secondary and postsecondary math instructors in the state. Teachers also received ongoing professional development through an online network of AAT educators who shared resources and lessons learned. The dual-credit course was taught during the 2013—2014 and 2014—2015 academic years. Students in the dual-credit course were required to take a centrally graded, standardized, end-of-course exam.

Comparison Group

High schools in the comparison group historically offered an AAT course that covered many of the topics included in a typical college algebra course. However, offerings of and standards for this course differed between schools and there were no standardized assessments. Teachers in the comparison group schools did not receive additional training and professional development.

Support for implementation

Teachers at intervention schools were provided with information and training on the standards for the dual-credit algebra course, as well as assistance in aligning their courses with them. The training consisted of two days of professional development in the summer targeting the alignment of the high schools’ AAT course with colleges’ College Algebra standards. Teachers also had access to an online network of AAT educators who shared resources and lessons learned with one another.

 

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