Dual enrollment boosts college success for high school students

May 01, 2013

High schools students enrolled in college courses are more likely to obtain a college degree. A new study shows students living in poverty benefit most from such programs.

NADINE ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: The study from a University of Iowa researcher used student data from a 1988 to 2000. It showed students enrolled in two college credit classes, or six credit hours, had significantly better chances of going to college and graduating. The study says dual enrollment students were 8 percent more like to obtain a community college degree, and 7 percent more like to get a bachelor’s degree. Northern Arizona University’s Tom Fetsco says dual enrollment programs get students interested in college.

TOM FETSCO: What you’re doing is you’re giving them a little better academic preparation.

ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: Terry Leyba-Ruiz oversees the dual enrollment program at the Maricopa Community College District. She says the study also introduces another key finding.

TERRY LEYBA RUIZ: What really stood out to me was his conclusion that first-generation students who participate in dual enrollment are more likely to attain their college degree than non-participants in that same first generation cohort.   

ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: She also says dual enrollments piques student interest in college.

LEYBA RUIZ: We have them hooked. Now they understand that it wasn’t just a fluke. It wasn’t just that class, but they can be successful and that class and next class, and beyond. 

ARROYO RODRIGUEZ: The study was published in the Journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. The journal article is normally behind a paywall, but that restriction is temporarily lifted for KJZZ listeners to read the study.

KJZZ is licensed to Rio Salado College, part of the Maricopa Community College District.

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