Students who took dual credit courses before enrolling in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) were more likely to achieve higher grades and graduate from college, according to a new study released today. hui.
The Kentucky Council for Post-Secondary Education (CIP) released the Double Credit and Student Achievement Report after analyzing the results of more than 30,000 students enrolled in KCTCS in the fall semesters of 2014 to 2017. In Overall, the study shows that dual credit experiences offer significant benefits to students heading to college, but results vary based on race, gender, and income.
The researchers looked at two groups of students: those on a technical path, pursuing certificates or applied associate degrees, and those on an academic path, pursuing associate degrees or considering moving to a four-year program.
For students in a technical field, the researchers found that taking a double-credit course increased the likelihood of achieving at least a 3.0 GPA in the first year of college by 4.4 percentage points. . It also increased the likelihood of graduating from college by 9.2 percentage points.
For students on an academic track, dual credit participants were 3.9 percentage points more likely to achieve at least a 3.0 GPA and 11.3 percentage points more likely to graduate or d ” be transferred to a public university within three years.
CPE President Aaron Thompson said the findings demonstrate the power of dual credit programs in improving educational attainment. However, he added, educators need to do more to ensure that all students share the benefits.
“The benefits are well established at this point,” Thompson said. “Double credit helps students build confidence, prepare for college, and often lower the cost of a degree. Now our work must focus on expanding these opportunities and narrowing the achievement gaps so that all students have the same chance to succeed. “
While double-credit participation in KCTCS has shown some overall benefits, researchers have found disparities based on race, gender, and income.
For example, white and Asian students seemed to benefit the most. Low-income and under-represented minority students saw some increase in the likelihood of graduating, but double credit did not confer significant effects on their first-year GPA.
The researchers said these results show the need for more rigorous double-credit experiences for low-income and minority students – with more academic support.
“Our goal with this study is to provide political leaders with clear empirical evidence to strengthen our statewide double credit programs,” said Dr Jie “Grace” Dai, CPE’s senior associate for data and research. advanced analysis. “We hope this serves as a springboard to increase overall participation, but also improve the value of double credit courses for marginalized student groups.”
Dual credit programs allow high school students to enroll in college courses and simultaneously receive academic or technical credits that count toward high school and college completion. The majority of double credit courses in Kentucky are offered by the KCTCS.
Today’s report is the second major study published by CPE on double credit in the past year. The first, released in September, showed that the number of Kentucky high school students enrolling in dual credit courses has climbed more than 75% in recent years, helping to improve grades and boost persistence in school. university, especially among low-income students.
The report can be viewed on the Council’s website at cpe.ky.gov.
Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education