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Joint Position Statement on Dual Enrollment in Composition

Conference on College Composition and Communication
November 2019
(replaces the November 2012 CCCC “Statement Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment Composition: Policy and Best Practices”)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) recognizes the increasingly large number of students earning college credit for first-year composition (FYC) while still in high school. Research suggests the value in Dual Enrollment (DE) programs; it also suggests some challenges and inconsistencies across them. Thus, this position statement attempts to address both the value and the challenges, to help ensure students’ success within these programs, and also to bridge high school and college writing contexts more cohesively, in particular for those instructors teaching in DE programs.

This joint statement, representing the collective position of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), the Two-Year College English Association (TYCA), the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA), and the College Section of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), aims to:

  1. Outline collective curricular outcomes for FYC and provide recommendations for DE instructor preparation and support;
  2. Recommend guidelines for student readiness, including habits of mind and academic experiences (i.e., with reading, writing, and critical analysis);
  3. Provide direction on assessment, including placement of students, assessment of instructors, assessment of students, and programmatic assessment.
BACKGROUND

Throughout this statement, we employ the term Dual Enrollment (DE) for any program that offers college courses to students enrolled in high school. Within the last decade, DE programs have proliferated in an educational landscape driven mainly by these four areas: (1) the college- and career-readiness initiatives; (2) the increasing costs of college tuition; (3) the nationwide education budget cuts; and (4) a subsequent drive to shorten students’ time to degree.

This task force, which represents voices from high schools, two-year colleges, and universities, began its work by examining and comparing our organizations’ various DE position statements created over the past decade. We identified the following points of consensus:

  • advocacy for teacher preparation/ongoing professional development and provisions for equitable and compensated training;
  • discussion of student readiness regarding maturity, cognitive and metacognitive development, and meeting admissions requirements; and
  • acknowledgement that DE can be referenced in many ways (early college, college in high school, dual enrollment, dual credit, concurrent enrollment).

These areas help provide the guiding principles of our statement. Thus, our joint statement is aimed at all teachers, students, program advisors, and administrators involved in DE programs and seeks to move us toward a shared understanding of the ways FYC can be successfully and meaningfully delivered to high school students.

FIRST-YEAR COMPOSITION: CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTORS

High school and college writing instruction does not always align in terms of goals and outcomes, generating a gap in students’ learning within the two contexts. DE provides a unique space for improving this alignment and offering possible solutions.

The Curriculum: FYC has a long history of being part of the general college requirements for universities, and it’s typically one or two courses taken early on in the college student’s career. The goal is to teach students knowledge and practices about writing that they may successfully carry forward, or transfer, to other writing contexts. To help encourage transfer, the curriculum should be designed around the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) Outcome Statement.

To support the CWPA Outcome Statement means the curriculum of a first-year composition is writing, and thus, the content should include assignments and activities for students to learn about writing, including rhetorical concepts and practices central for success as writers and composers across digital and print formats. These include rhetorical knowledge, critical thinking, reading, composing practices, processes (strategies to develop writing projects), knowledge of genre conventions, and reflection. To learn these concepts and practices, students should create projects that respond to a variety of rhetorical situations across multiple genres so that they become versatile writers capable of responding to different writing situations expected in college. Writing assignments should also include attention to the process(es) of writing including drafting, peer reviewing, revising, editing, and reflecting.

To help both students and instructors be successful in DE programs, certain conditions need to be met:

Necessary Support for Students: students enrolled in the courses must have access to college resources such as the library databases and the Writing Center, as well as resources and course materials necessary for participating in the course.

Necessary Support for Instructors: per standards from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), the instructors must meet the academic requirements for faculty and instructors “teaching in the sponsoring postsecondary institution” and receive initial training in course delivery as well as ongoing pedagogical and professional support from the sponsoring institution. It is also recommended that instructors receive built-in additional prep time from their home institutions.

Instructors: Instructors teaching FYC in DE programs should have a background in English or a closely related field—ideally, at least 18 hours of graduate-level coursework in their content areas. They should have disciplinary knowledge in composition studies as well as experience in the teaching of writing—rhetorical principles and conventions—and if they do not, they should work closely with their home secondary institutions on professional development opportunities such as taking discipline-specific courses in order to ensure they understand the goals and outcomes of a FYC course and the ways in which they should teach them. Instructors should be granted ample time in their schedules for this professional development. Furthermore, class visits and evaluations should be administered routinely to assess teaching performance in order for the instructor to continue teaching in the program.

STUDENT READINESS

Student readiness is the ability of a student to enroll in a “credit-bearing, college-level course” and to be successful in that course. High school students who demonstrate this ability may still lack the “affective readiness” required to succeed in DE courses, and courses without college-level rigor can cause students to struggle once they transition to writing contexts in college. Thus, the extent to which a student is “ready” should carefully be considered by guardians, teachers, and administrators and discussed before the student enters the DE course. For these reasons and those explained more fully below, high school students younger than junior or senior level should not be considered ready for FYC.

The Council of Writing Program Administers (CWPA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the National Writing Project (NWP) developed a “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing” that shows student readiness depends upon two factors: (1) students having experiences with reading, writing, and critical analysis, and (2) students’ development of habits of mind or “ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and that will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines.” It identifies eight habits of mind: curiosity, openness, engagement, creativity, persistence, responsibility, flexibility, and metacognition.

The “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing” helps provide ways to assess whether or not a student is ready for college-level writing. Additionally, stakeholders need to be aware of how placement evaluations can directly impact students’ conceptions of writing, and choose the methods that best represent what writing professionals value and understand about writing. Therefore, readiness assessments should be completed using a combination of measures, as using only one measure to assess student readiness does not accurately respond to the Framework. To assess student readiness, instructors should use a combination of these measures: student writing samples across a variety of genres, modes, or mediums; self-assessment completed through a directive reflective prompt; standardized test scores alongside high school grades; and/or consultations with the student, counselors, and parents about what to expect in the college classroom. If the placement procedure is designed to take linguistic diversity/background into account, then the results of placement must also be responsive to this (i.e., dual enrollment FYC for L2/multilingual learners, or instructors who are trained in L2 writing).

Additionally, it is highly encouraged to check in with the students throughout the semester to ensure the students are keeping up with the required coursework, understanding the expectations placed on them as writers and learners in a college-level course, and engaging in sustained and effective writing practices.

ASSESSMENT

Our professional organizations all recognize writing as a social activity wherein revision, peer review, and reflection are critical activities in the assessment process, activities which depend in large part on manageable class size and adequate time for instructor labor. DE instructors working on high school campuses may face myriad pressures that make best-practices writing assessment more challenging—amount and scope of material to be covered, state and national standards, grading load, class size, parental involvement, and administrative demands. If such conditions make it difficult or impossible to implement best assessment practices in DE writing courses, the dual enrollment program administrators should consider suspending the partnership until such conditions can be ensured.

The sponsoring institution should provide material support to DE partners in the form of rubrics, outcomes statements, course goals, assignment templates, and grading policies, and engage in frequent communication with instructors regarding the use and application of these materials, and DE faculty should be included in the sponsoring institution’s regular syllabus review procedures and ongoing faculty development.

Postsecondary, credit-awarding institutions have an obligation to include DE instructors in their observation and evaluation processes, particularly in contexts where instruction takes place on the secondary campus: asking instructors and students to complete evaluations; providing opportunities for reciprocal site visits and observations; encouraging professional development, and where possible, providing resources and funding for such development. Experienced instructors of writing or writing program administrators should take the lead on evaluations, observations, and assessments of DE instructors.

DE students’ writing products (portfolios, final reflections, major projects, and so on) should be regularly collected and included in the sponsoring institutions’ own program assessments. The results of these assessments should be disaggregated for comparative purposes, and made available to DE stakeholders: administrators, instructors, and perhaps students and parents as well. Methods such as disparate impact analysis are recommended to determine whether assessment has impacted students on the basis of race, language, or other factors.

Finally, DE providers have a responsibility to inform parents and students of the transferability of their coursework, including transfers to out-of-state institutions (if only to inform parents and students to check with out-of-state institutions about whether the coursework will be accepted). Sponsoring institutions can support this task by making sure their websites provide accurate transfer information which explicitly mentions how DE coursework is evaluated and/or articulated.

Dual Enrollment in Composition: Relevant Research since 2012
Bibliography with Selected Annotations

Allen, Drew, and Mina M. Dadgar. “Does Dual Enrollment Increase Students’ Success in College? Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Dual Enrollment in New York City.” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 11–20.

Central idea/question:

  • Based on the results of previous studies, Allen and Dadgar conclude that when students participated in dual enrollment courses as part of the College Now program (CUNY), their college GPAs were higher and they had a shorter time to degree.

Methods:

  • To review the literature on DE, the authors depended on three major studies: Florida (Karp et al.; Speroni), NYC (Karp et al.), and a nationally representative sample (National Education Longitudinal Study: 88/00). Additionally, their main research question was: What is the impact of DE on students’ college credit accumulation, GPA, and retention? They included all first-time freshmen who entered one of CUNY’s 17 colleges in the fall 2009 semester within 15 months of graduating high school (13). Their sample size was 22,962. Their stated limitation was that they only studied students who attended a CUNY school. They used a regression model and a quasi-experimental model (DID) (17).

Takeaways:

  • Completing one or more DE courses positively affected GPA during the first semester of college (15).
  • Based on their DID approach, the authors found that participation in DE courses varied by high school. Using DID, researchers found that credit attainment and GPA were positively affected, but they could not make the same claim regarding retention (17).
  • When accounting for “pre-program differences” such as Regents scores and SAT scores, students are positively affected in terms of GPA, credit attainment, and
  • If DE programs are expanded to include students whose Regents and SAT scores do not resemble those in this control group, then it is necessary to use a quasi-experimental approach to study the outcomes because retention rates do change.

An, Brian P. “The Influence of Dual Enrollment on Academic Performance and College Readiness.” Research in Higher Education, vol. 54, no. 4, 2013, pp. 407–432.

Central idea/question:

  • The impact of dual enrollment programs on students’ academic performance and college readiness, isolated by socioeconomic status.

Takeaways:

  • An’s study focuses on whether participation in a DE program impacts academic performance and college readiness for all participants. Then, he isolates for SE status and college-going status of parents. He ultimately finds that DE affects all students. In terms of low SES, students benefit as much as middle and high SES students; but it doesn’t do anything in terms of closing the achievement gap between high/middle and low SES students because of their “baseline characteristics” (425).
  • “As high school attainment reaches saturation—and as a consequence, college-degree attainment become increasingly the norm for an adequate standard of living—high-SES parents make strenuous and calculated efforts to guide their children through school in order to secure academic credentials that are superior in both content and prestige” (409).
  • “Moreover, high-SES parents are more likely involved with and invest toward their children’s college decisions than low-SES parents (An 2010; Charles et al. 2007). Low- SES parents tend to relinquish educational responsibilities and instead focus on responsibilities that foster natural growth (e.g., provisions of love, food, comfort, and safety) Laureau & Weininger 2008). Low-SES parents may be enthusiastic and exhibit great determination in their child’s educational success, but they are more likely than high-SES parents to engage in a ‘generic’ relationship with teachers and school officials and display signs of intimidation and confusion when interacting with these officials” (409).

Takeaways:

  • This is significant because middle- and high-SES parents manage each step of their child’s educational career, and they are on the hunt for various educational opportunities and push for more opportunities, more so than their low-SES counterparts. This begins to put kids on different tracks. The students are then exposed to fewer rigorous courses that are part of a sequence that they will see in college (p. 410). But, it is important to note that because DE does affect all students positively, it will not close the achievement gap if programs are simply expanded to more low-SES students. Instead, two things must happen: change the “baseline characteristics” and expand DE.

Barnett, Elisabeth. “Building Student Momentum from High School into College.” Jobs for the Future, Feb. 2016, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED564836.pdf

Central idea/question:

  • High school students need to have specific skills and knowledge before college; high school–college programs can support the development of these skills.

Takeaways:

  • “Momentum chain” (1)—Experiences and educational achievements in high school lead to no remediation and likelihood of graduation in “reasonable time.” Karp et al. found that Florida students who participated in DE were more like to graduate from high school and enroll in college than similar students who did not participate. In addition, DE participants were more likely to persist in college, earned an average of 15 more college credits 3 years after high school graduation than nonparticipants, and had significantly higher GPAs. Similar results were found for NYC DE enrollment (Karp et al.). A study in Texas also found substantially better college outcomes for students who took DE courses (Struhl & Vargas) (6).
  • Attaining a certain number of college credits has value in itself. According to Adelman, earning fewer than 20 credits by the end of the first calendar year of college enrollment creates a serious drag on degree completion. The authors therefore propose that students accrue college credits in high school “so that students enter higher education with a minimum of 6 additive credits to help them cross that 20-credit line.” In addition, Leinbach and Jenkins point to college credit accumulation as contributing in their studies of Washing State community colleges, lending credence to the idea that earning credits in high school can help students to succeed in college (8).
  • “Cultural capital” is a term used to denote the knowledge, skills, education, and personal advantages that enhance the ability to thrive socially and economically (Bourdieu). “College cultural capital,” as used here, refers to the knowledge, skills, education, and personal advantages that permit students to enroll and succeed in college (12). Similarly, Boroch and Hope argue that “senior year must be reframed as a vital bridge to the first year of college, setting appropriate expectations for postsecondary performance and instilling confidence that students will succeed when they transfer” (12).
  • Further, studies of the so-called “summer melt” find that 10 percent to 40 percent of students who intend to enroll in college in the fall following graduation from high school never matriculate because they do not follow through on furnishing required forms and finishing enrollment processes—especially first-generation college students whose families have little experience navigating the college transition process (Castleman and Page) (14).
  • DE courses provide students with opportunities to become more college ready and to earn enough college credits to keep their momentum going should they run into difficulty at their college/university. Swanson calls these credits “nest eggs.”

Boecherer, Brian A. (2016). “Income Effects on Concurrent Enrollment Participation: The Case Study of UConn Early College Experience.” Bridging the High School- College Gap: The Role of Concurrent Enrollment Programs, edited by Gerald S. Edmonds and Tiffany M. Squires, Syracuse UP, 2016, pp. 258–279.

Central idea/question:

  • The connection between economics, dual enrollment, and college participation rates

Methods:

  • In a mixed-methods study, Boecherer studied decision making, economics, and advancement to higher education. He found that as income rose, students decided to participate in DE courses at a lower rate. His research found that “the wealthier the family, the more actively involved parents and students are in the student’s own education; conversely, the less affluent the family, the weaker the culture for academic involvement. This model reflects the understanding that income and educational attainment are related” (264).

Takeaways:

  • “But if the access [to DE] is already there, why is there a need to increase it? In the middle and lower quartiles, where attending college is only now starting to institutionalize in the culture, students are encouraged to use available opportunities because the competition for college admission and scholarships is difficult. In these areas, concurrent enrollment performs much better than in the upper quartile. Indeed, the first eight high schools in the poorest areas have a larger student enrollment than the first eight high schools in the wealthiest areas” (278).
  • High school students from lower income homes are more likely to participate in DE in high school because this seems to be their best option to make them appear competitive for college admissions. Higher income students are more likely to take AP and IB courses.

Burdick, Melanie, and Jane Greer. “Paths to Productive Partnerships: Surveying High School Teachers about Professional Development and ‘College-Level’ Writing.” WPA: Writing Program Administration, vol. 41, no. 1, 2017, pp. 82–101.

Central idea/question:

 

  • How do high school English teachers define “college-level” writing? What are the origins of these definitions? What are the sources of their professional development?

Methods:

  • Burdick and Greer surveyed 81 postsecondary teachers in thirteen midwestern counties, using as criteria “English teachers who either deliver college credit writing courses (e.g., DC/CE, AP, or IB) or teach courses that explicitly prepare high school students for college writing” (84). The survey consisted of three sections: (1) the professional demographics and credentials of the respondents and their working conditions, including class size and course assignments; (2) multiple-choice questions regarding teachers’ access to various channels of knowledge about college level writing (including the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing, AP training and materials, IB training and materials, and DC/CE professional development and training, among others); and (3) open-ended questions asking teachers to define “college-level” writing in their own words and to describe what a student would need to do to succeed in writing in college (86).

Takeaways:

  • “[H]igh school writing instruction is affected by inharmonious stakeholders: government officials and legislators who advocate for standards and high-stakes testing; families who may have widely divergent visions of educational success; professional organizations, such as the NWP, that validate teachers’ best practices; and textbook companies that heavily market assessment tools. The daily work that high school teachers undertake is a complex negotiation of these sometimes complementary, sometimes conflicting, constituencies” (85).
  • “[W]e find it significant that most respondents teach college credit or college preparatory courses alongside other courses. The diversity of classes they teach and student populations they encounter demands pedagogical flexibility, and they have opportunities to develop a more socio-constructivist teaching perspective based on experiences with diverse learners, writing abilities, and curricular requirements” (89).
  • “Besides the Framework for Success, the most impactful professional development experiences—AP Training (41%) and the CCSS (45%)—are those that we suspect most WPAs feel they have had the smallest role in helping to construct” (92).
  • “Through the survey, we observed three meaningful trends: (1) the participants were highly qualified and experienced teachers; (2) the participants tapped into a range of professional development resources; and (3) the participants viewed college writing in ways that are not remarkably different from how many postsecondary educators and WPAs might define college-level writing” (87).
  • “Ultimately, we hope that findings of our survey will spur other WPAs to develop data- driven understandings of the experience and expertise of high school teachers with whom they might partner in their local communities. More broadly, the goal of our study is to lay the groundwork for more productive partnerships between WPAs and high school teachers so that we might work together to help students develop a rich repertoire of literate abilities across their entire educational careers” (84).
  • “[W]e now recognize the need to design professional development experiences for DC/CE teachers that focus on the complex processes of synthesizing definitions and approaches to teaching college-level writing from multiple sources, rather than simply introducing them to an institution’s standard curriculum for first-year writing classes” (91).

Denecker, Christine. “Transitioning Writers across the Composition Threshold: What We Can Learn from Dual Enrollment Partnerships.” Composition Studies, vol. 41, no. 1, 2013, pp. 27–50.

Central idea/question:

  • Denecker originally set out to uncover “inconsistencies” between high school and college definitions of “good” writing in dual enrollment partnerships. She ended up with the following key finding: “Crossing the threshold from high school to college-level writing expectations constitutes a challenge for many students since secondary and postsecondary composition instructors often work under different constraints and are guided by different curricular philosophies. Dual enrollment classrooms provide a space where these differences can be delineated, discussed, respected, and perhaps even reconciled by instructors on both sides of the divide” (27).

Methods:

  • Denecker’s study focused on observations of, interviews with, and surveys completed by high school teachers, college instructors, and students in three distinct dual enrollment/dual credit operations at the University of Findlay in Ohio: (1) on the college campus in a traditional composition classroom setting; (2) on the high school campus (with a trained high school instructor); and (3) on the college campus in a classroom populated exclusively by high school students. Participants (both students and instructors) focused on and ranked elements of “good” writing in these interactions. (29)

Takeaways:

  • “[T]he most powerful element for moving students from point A to point B as writers may lie not with the students themselves but with those who plan, oversee, and carry out dual enrollment composition instruction. In other words, transitioning writers across the composition threshold is not so much about what the students do as it is about what the instructors know or understand about composition practices on both sides of the divide” (31).
  • This study found three basic factors contributing to the inconsistencies between high school and college writing instruction: (1) the sheer scope of material public high school English teachers are challenged to cover in their classes—from vocabulary to grammar to literature to writing; (2) the state and national standards to which high school English teachers must adhere; and (3) paper-load/grading dilemma. (32)
  • “[T]he real key to ameliorating gaps between secondary and post-secondary writing instruction is open, respectful, and productive dialogue among instructors on both sides of the composition threshold” (41).

Edmunds, Julie A. “Early Colleges: A New Model of Schooling Focusing on College Readiness.” New Directions for Higher Education, vol. 81, no. 91, 2012, pp. 81–89.

Central idea/question:

  • How do early college high school programs impact student college readiness? Early college high school programs (ECHSP) are defined in this context as programs that for the most part exist on college campuses where students take both high school and college courses.

Methods:

  • There are two main studies that Edmunds addresses. The first one assesses the impact of college readiness—the national evaluation of the Early College High School Initiative and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (a foundation that also funds ECHSP) and conducted by American Institutes of Research and SRI International. The second study that Edmunds is conducting is a longitudinal experimental study looking at the impact of North Carolina’s ECHSP and will include 3,000 students from 19 schools. Admission into ECHSP is by lottery, so the results from selected students are compared against students who were not selected. Since the larger study is currently underway, Edmunds used the data collected from 715 9th and 10th graders in six early colleges to assess the impact of EC.

Takeaways:

  • For the first study, EC positively impacts college readiness. Students in EC did better academically, attended four-year colleges at higher rates, and earned on average 23 credits by the time they had completed college. Results were better from the programs that were housed on college
  • For the second study, more students in the ECHS are on track to attend college based on the types of courses they have passed (English, two math classes, biology, and civics/econ). Further, students expressed in the qualitative portion of the study that they were learning the behaviors of a college
  • High school principals were also interviewed and stated that high school courses were positively affected because they began mimicking some of the practices found on college campuses such as implementing a policy where faculty would hand out syllabi to their students.
  • It is important to note that the ECHS programs that were most successful were the ones that were located on college campuses and fully integrated into the college community.

Ferguson, Collin, Pete Baker, and Dana Burnett. “Faculty Members’ Perceptions of Rigor in Dual Enrollment, Accelerated Programs, and Standard Community College Courses.” New Directions for Community Colleges, vol. 2015, no. 169, 2015, pp. 83–91.

Central idea/question:

  • This article draws on two questions: first, “[W]hat if dual enrollment courses are not equivalent to similar courses offered on the college campus?” (83) Second, “How do faculty members perceive the level of rigor of dual enrollment courses compared to similar community college courses offered in the first two years of college?” (84)

Methods:

  • This qualitative study investigated faculty members’ views of the level of academic rigor in three settings at one community college: dual enrollment, accelerated programs, and standard community college courses. The researchers “operationalized rigor” by analyzing faculty grade requirements based on course syllabi and conducting interviews with faculty about their perceptions of students.

Takeaways:

  • “Faculty perceptions of students’ behaviors and dispositions provide insight into faculty expectations for college courses and college students. In turn, faculty expectations are an important dimension of course rigor in that they shape the extent to which the course environment is at the collegiate level” (84).
  • “Dual enrollment general education courses were at least as rigorous if not more rigorous than general education courses taught to standard students on community college campuses. Although the design and content of a course varied with the instructor, the course rigor and quality did not vary in relation to the type of student enrolled” (89).
  • “Faculty tended to assess the academic ability of accelerated program students and students enrolled in dual enrollment courses as generally higher than standard students. This held for comparisons between dual enrolled and standard students at both the high school and the community college” (89–90).
  • “Faculty perceived that students in dual enrollment courses did not behave like college students and were less mature than their older, standard community college students. Whereas the academic ‘college readiness’ of these students may be adequate, their affective readiness to participate in college courses two years before high school graduation may present challenges that could require significant support” (90).
  • The authors end with two sets of implications. First, in the area of equivalent course content, they argue that “If a student receives college credit for completing a course with levels of rigor more characteristic of the average high school class, that student may struggle when they transition to college-level courses, which is a disservice to students. Perhaps course-to-course equivalence is less important than holistic, programmatic equivalence between dual enrollment programs and traditional college programs” (90). Second, they argue that support services, such as specialized orientations, advising, career counseling, and tutoring designed to meet the unique needs of dual enrolled students “may be necessary to nurture the development of students’ affective and nonacademic skills and behaviors” (91).

Fink, John, Davis Jenkins, and Takeshia Yanagiura. “What Happens to Students Who Take Community College ‘Dual Enrollment’ Courses in High School?” Community College Research Center, 2017, https://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/publications/what- happens-community-college-dual-enrollment-students.html.

Central idea/question:

  • Using NSC (National Student Clearinghouse) data, CCRC researchers wanted to determine: who takes DE courses offered by community colleges, and what happens to these students after high school?

Methods:

  • The authors studied more than 200,000 students who first took a DE course in fall 2010 for six years, examining what happened with the students in which states. They paid particular attention to the differences between the states because they assert that many colleges do not track which students participate, which colleges they attend after high school, and how many of these students complete a degree.

Takeaways:

  • There are big differences between states regarding who is taking DE courses and what happens after. Example: In Pennsylvania, there are fewer students (10%) enrolled in DE courses, and of that group more (66%) attended a four-year school and 64% earned a bachelor’s degree within five years (p. 20). This in in contrast to Washington, where 20% take DE courses and 66% attend a two-year college after high school. 58% of these students earn a college degree or certificate and only 32% will earn a bachelor’s degree.
  • Community colleges are benefiting from DE programs because students enrolled in DE courses are more likely to continue on to the community college even if their academic credentials would suggest a more selective college. These researchers believe that community colleges are able to counsel students on the benefits of going to a community college while they are in the DE program.
  • DE programs must collect data on race and ethnicity. These researchers did not collect this data, but they suspect that there are gaps.

Hansen, Kristine, et al. “How Do Dual Credit Students Perform on College Writing Tasks After They Arrive on Campus? Empirical Data from a Large-Scale Study.” WPA: Writing Program Administration, vol. 38, no. 2, 2015, pp. 56–92.

Central idea/question:

  • The impetus for this research was the authors’ sense that WPAs have a lack of knowledge about the kinds of education students receive prior to FYW courses, and that “one of the biggest unknowns is the nature and quality of dual credit or concurrent enrollment courses,” especially given the lack of empirical data in this area (56–7).

Methods:

  • This study compared the writing performance of dual enrollment students in a first-year course on American history and politics with that of students who had already earned credit for first-year writing from either AP or [the authors’ institution’s] first-year writing course and with that of students concurrently enrolled in first-year writing or still planning to take first-year writing” (56). The authors surveyed 713 of the 2,524 students enrolled in the history course and then selected 189 students for closer study, obtaining two essays written for the class from each of these students. The research team scored the essays with rubrics. They also held focus groups with eleven students.

Takeaways:

  • “No statistically significant differences for dual credit/concurrent enrollment students were found when they were compared to other groups. Interpreting the results in light of other data from two surveys and four focus groups, the authors surmise that the kind of curriculum or instructor in any particular variant of first year writing is likely less important than student maturation, cognitive development, and exposure to more writing instruction in improving students’ writing abilities. The authors recommend replication (with modifications) of this research at public state and regional universities with more diverse student bodies” (56).
  • “To help students see the value of additional writing instruction, we recommend that WPAs consider how they package and advertise courses to students who come to college with credit for first-year writing already on their transcripts . . . . But perhaps we should be less concerned with selling students on the idea that FYW offers something new or different and be more concerned with convincing them that it offers them something more—more opportunity to refine and develop their skills as writers” (80).
  • “We also believe it is important to examine the broader culture in which DC/CE, AP, and IB courses have now become a growth industry. We feel compelled to ask what is behind the effort to try to fast-forward students’ literacy development. Why are so many students feeling pressure to enroll in so-called college level courses at ever younger ages?” (80–81)

Henderson, Susan, and Barbara D. Hodne. “College in the Schools: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.” Bridging the High School-College Gap: The Role of Concurrent Enrollment Programs, edited by Gerald S. Edmonds and Tiffany M. Squires, Syracuse UP, 2016, pp. 18–23.

Central idea/question:

  • Henderson and Hodne offer a detailed description of their College in the Schools (CIS) program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and how it has developed over time from serving ten high schools in 1986 to 118 high schools in 2010–11.

Takeaways:

  • CIS-UMTC has a very close relationship with NACEP (three members have served on the board of directors), and in 2004, they helped to create the Minnesota Concurrent Enrollment Partnership, MnCEP. It seems clear from the structure of their program, their close connections to participating high schools, their commitment to expand their offerings to underserved students, and their willingness to have CE students become part of the UMTC campus that their relationship with NACEP has profoundly and positively affected their
  • The Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act of 1985 allowed high school students to take courses on postsecondary campuses—and some high schools—under specific conditions.
  • CIS has a “cafeteria-style” DE program in that participating high schools determine which courses will be offered—though all instructors must be credentialed through UMTC.
  • Student entrance requirements are set by the academic department at UMTC where the course
  • Ongoing required professional development workshops for participating high school teachers are held year-round. Additionally, teachers have access to Moodle sites and to email. Finally, faculty coordinators routinely observe teachers.
  • Students also participate in student field days on the UMTC campus to listen to lectures or to access additional academic
  • Beginning in fall 2009, CIS began expanding its offerings to students who wouldn’t normally meet the entrance requirements (top 70th–80th percentile of high school class). In EPP, the Entry Point Project, students take three UMTC credit-bearing courses that employ Universal Instructional Design.

Henderson, Susan, Barbara D. Hodne, and Julie Williams. “Concurrent Enrollment Program Prepares Academic Middle for College and Career.” Bridging the High School-College Gap: The Role of Concurrent Enrollment Programs, edited by Gerald S. Edmonds and Tiffany M. Squires, Syracuse UP, 2016, pp. 112–158.

Central idea/question:

  • How, if at all, does expanding a DE program to include students who do not have the academic credentials help to close the gaps in achievement rates? University of Minnesota already had CIS (College-in-Schools DE program), so EPP (Entry Point Project) was
  • University of Minnesota launched a new dual enrollment program called the Entry Point Project (EPP) in 2010, intending to serve students who have “academic potential but who have not demonstrated it in traditional ways” (112). EPP was designed in response to the gaps in achievement in ACT scores, high school graduation rates, two-year college admission rates, four-year college admission rates, and college graduation rates. UMinn found that the gaps were based on race, ethnicity, and economic status. But, they were concerned about changing admission requirements for DE participants (top 70– 80% of the class depending on subject), particularly since UMinn was becoming more and more selective. Therefore, they depended on the research by CCRRC researchers Thomas Bailey, Melinda Mechur Karp, Elisabeth Barnett, and Katherine L. Hughes to provide evidence-based research to support EPP’s mission to serve students who fall below the cutoff for selection.

Methods:

  • In 2007, CRRC managed a three-year initiative by the James Irvine Foundation which funded eight DE programs that were “career focused” for students who wouldn’t normally be included in DE programs based on academic performance. They found that 60% of the participants earned an A or B in their college course and 71% participated in tutoring, counselling, and other types of support outside of the classroom (118).

Takeaways:

  • Based on these positive results, EPP was born, and became integrated with
  • EPP created partnerships with the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning and College Readiness Consortium at UMinn as well as other external partners (Minnesota AVID and Association of Secondary Principals) to build the
  • EPP had four main goals: increase broader academic range of students, increase more students of color and students with low SES backgrounds, improve college readiness, and help students to develop their sense of belonging when they got to college.
  • EPP has been collecting data on each one of their goals as well as on partnership agreements with high schools and program administration.

Hofmann, Eric. “Why Dual Enrollment?” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 1–11.

Central idea/question:

  • Hoffman traces the rise in dual enrollment programs in the United States and notes how the college completion agenda in 2003 under the No Child Left Behind Act focused on the transition between lower and higher education. As such, dual enrollment became an attractive option because courses offered in DE programs would effectively connect the two spaces and also focus on defining college readiness.

Methods:

  • This article is essentially a literature review.

Takeaways:

  • Dual enrollment programs hold promise, but more information is needed on: (1) How many and what types of students participate in DE; (2) What program features are most common; (3) Whether these efforts support the transition and persistence of students in postsecondary education; and (4) How state policies influence program structures and practices (4).

Hofmann, Eric, and Daniel Voloch. “Dual Enrollment as a Liminal Space.” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 101–109.

Central idea/question:

  • The transition between high school and college has been characterized as a “gap” (Hofmann et al.) and “continuum” (Conely). Hoffman and Voloch would like to add “liminal” to the list. Their central idea is that the space where DE programs live is not exclusively high school or college, but both at the same time.

Takeaway:

  • Without specific borders, tensions can mount, which is why it is imperative that high schools and colleges not only collaborate but have clearly articulated roles.

Hughes, Katherine L., and Linsey Edwards. “Teaching and Learning in the Dual Enrollment Classroom.” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 29–38.

Central idea/question:

  • Hughes and Edwards explore how the space shared by high schools and colleges (here community colleges) in a dual enrollment program can be a site for inquiry that has the potential to positively impact pedagogy. They tell the story of what happened in the California Concurrent Course Initiative (founded in 2008 with 8 secondary/postsecondary programs; it serves academically struggling, low-income students who are on the career path) when teachers and professors participated in a collaborative action research project. Courses in CCI’s program could be held on the college or high school campus and could be taught by both high school and college instructors. Instructors from both sites encountered difficulties with their students, so under the guidance of CCRC, they participated in the action research project. Each instructor took on one challenge, created an intervention, and recorded any changes they noticed.

Takeaways:

  • The results are not surprising. They found that the following practices positively affected student persistence: the work of the course should be student-centered, assessment measures should be varied (fewer exams and more project-based work), out-of-class supports such as tutoring are crucial, and their pedagogy must be culturally relevant as defined by Duncan-Andrade.

Karp, Melinda M. “Dual Enrollment, Structural Reform, and the Completion Agenda.” New Directions for Community Colleges, no. 169, 2015, pp. 103–111.

Central idea/question:

  • Karp conceptualizes DE as part of the national agenda regarding increasing the completion rates of college students.

Takeaways:

  • “Dual enrollment can and should be located in the broader context of national efforts to reform postsecondary education” and “by strategically linking hs and colleges and requiring these two types of institutions to change how they operate, DE requires educators and policymakers to rethink how they structure and deliver education to students on the cusp of hs graduation and college entry” (103).
  • The goal is not just access to college—it is earning college credentials (104).
  • There are very few opportunities for high school and colleges to collaborate: High school= Common Core (colleges not consulted). Remedial education was revamped, but high school educators and/or administrators were not consulted (104).
  • DE programs are a “middle space” that could be this site for collaboration: “DE programs essentially create linkages between the secondary and postsecondary sectors that reduce the fragmentation of the two and create stronger, smoother pathways from hs to college for participating students” (104).
  • From this collaboration, important questions must be raised: “As a result [of DE programs], educational institutions must redefine their missions and what it means to serve their students: What is a high school senior or a college freshman when students’ course taking enrolls them in both types of classes simultaneously? What does it mean for a hs to deliver college coursework—the location, instructor, students, or content? How does one administer an educational program, including the calendar and criteria for credit earning, when students are enrolled in more than one program at a time?” (107). On a side note, these are also the same kinds of questions that composition theorists, national organizations, and many position statements are asking in terms of courses such as first-year composition.
  • Equity: Not all students are affected equally. For some students, such as those from lower-income families, the ability to earn college credits while still in hs—often at a reduced price—mitigates some of the gaps that are seen in educational achievement (108).
  • “. . .The greater challenge is to ensure that underrepresented minority, first-generation college-going, low-income, and otherwise educationally disadvantaged students are able to achieve college completion rates similar to their more advantaged peers” (108).
  • Results for the most marginalized groups: “The positive results for DE participation appear to hold true even for students most at risk of falling through the cracks of the completion pipeline, including males, career and technical education, low-income, first- generation, and minority students” (108).
  • DE programs can be a site for collaboration. Further, earning college credits while in high school positively affects at-risk groups.

Karp, Melinda M. “‘I Don’t Know, I’ve Never Been to College!’ Dual Enrollment as a College Readiness Strategy.” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 21–28.

Central idea/question:

  • Dual enrollment and college readiness.

Methods:

  • This study examines 26 high school students in DE courses offered through two different community colleges in NYC—all taught on high school campuses. Data collection included 3 interviews and 18 classroom observations (24). The findings are fairly unsurprising: students not knowing what it meant to be a college student at the beginning and being more comfortable by the end of the DE course.

Takeaways:

  • Students need to learn two types of knowledge—academic and nonacademic—because even those who are academically prepared did not pass FYC. This leads Karp to think about academic readiness skills. Karp cites Attinasi, Dickie and Farrell, and Shields, concluding that in addition to academics, “new college students must learn to navigate a complex system of bureaucratic requirements, learn new study habits and time-management strategies, and engage in new kinds of social relationships” (22). These are the nonacademic skills that many researchers are now thinking about with “success course”
  • Dual enrollment as a social intervention: Karp makes the argument that DE allows students to “try on” (23) the role of a college student in a safe and supportive environment. Karp cites “anticipatory socialization” (Merton; Edbaugh) and “role rehearsal” (23) as processes that students enrolled in DE courses can experience which will help them transition to college.

Kim, Jeanette. “Data-Informed Practices in an Urban Dual Enrollment Program.” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 49–59.

Central idea/question:

  • Kim describes how College Now (major dual enrollment program in the 5 boroughs of NYC) is structured, administered, assessed, and implements change.

Takeaways:

  • College Now is the result of a collaboration between the NYC Department of Education and CUNY (City University of New York). It is a single university-wide program that involves 17 two- and four-year colleges/universities. Each of these institutions works with about 15–25 area high
  • Goals: to increase college readiness and to provide access to typical first-year courses (first-year writing, psychology, sociology).
  • Access: Students who are high achievers as well as those who are in the mid range academically have the option to take
  • Courses/Services: College credit, developmental education courses (zero credit conferred), pre-college courses for high school credit. Students will also have access to college support services (library, tutoring center, ).
  • Format: Courses are offered before and after school on high school and college campuses—with some weekend
  • Evaluation: Data tracked by CUNY Collaborative Programs, and this along with other measures informs
  • Results: College Now participants persist at higher rates in college than students who did not participate.

Kinnick, Katherine N. “The Impact of Dual Enrollment on the Institution.” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 39–48.

Central idea/question:

  • How do sponsoring colleges/universities benefit, if at all, from dual enrollment programs? Kinnick gathers data from Kennesaw State University, her own institution, to answer this question.

Methods:

  • Using institutional data, Kinnick studied the number of students who participated in dual enrollment who would later enroll at Kennesaw, their rate of progression to degree, and their rate of graduation.

Takeaways:

  • Over 23,000 students attended Kennesaw in 2010–11. 200 of these students were enrolled in their DE program, DHEP, designated for honors high school students. Students needed to have a 3.0 GPA and a combined 1100 on Reading and Math portions of the SAT. DHEP students took all courses on campus, and 48% took a full load (12 credits) and did not enroll in any high school courses. By following these 200 students, Kinnick found that students enrolled in DHEP were more likely to continue their four-year degree at KSU at higher rates. Furthermore, their honors professors said that they positively contributed to the school environment. Their overall GPA upon graduation was higher than many of their peers, which increases the college profile, and their time to degree was shorter because they had earned approximately 20 credits by the end of their first year. Kinnick did find that economically, KSU did not benefit because much of the tuition for DHEP was subsidized by KSU. Finally, Kinnick found that high schools did not benefit from participation in this case because the students who qualified for DHEP did not take the kinds of courses (AP/IB) that would raise the school’s state ranking.

Klopfenstein, Kristin, and Kit Livel. “Dual Enrollment in the Broader Context of College- Level High School Programs.” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 158, 2012, pp. 59–71.

Central idea/question:

  • “What are the considerations when offering Advanced Placement or dual enrollment courses? In this chapter, researchers examine the history, structure, benefits, and challenges of each program in order to encourage schools and communities to think about the right fit when selecting a college-level transition program” (59).
  • “This chapter compares the two most popular college-level programs, Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment, and explains how choosing between the two is likely to be contingent on such varied factors as a school’s geographic location and a student’s academic profile and postsecondary aspirations. We also address how perceptions of AP’s superiority have arisen from its popularity in top-ranked suburban high schools, perceptions that have influenced education policies and have led to the use of AP in schools where dual enrollment may be a better fit for students. Finally, we examine the efficacy of both programs in accelerating time to a baccalaureate degree” (59).

Methods:

  • The authors provide historical context and background on the “different designs, missions, and histories” of AP and dual enrollment (60), comparing the “advantages and disadvantages” of each model (61). They also provide background on college-level programs in the context of K–16 reform. Finally, they offer some suggestions for “finding the right fit” when choosing a college-level program (65).

Takeaways:

  • “In reality, the choice of dual enrollment versus AP is not available to the bulk of U.S. students” (66).
  • “High standards, however, are a necessary condition but an insufficient means for successful postsecondary preparation. These college-level programs can provide the target of high standards, but true readiness comes from the mechanisms through which students are supported in their efforts to reach college-level standards. The Early College High School model is one example of the use of dual enrollment as a target whereby curricular and pedagogical reform come through a multitude of supports used to address the unique challenges facing first-generation college students” (66).
  • “. . . [T]he use of college-level programs to drive high standards begs the need for a high-quality curriculum, such as the kind anticipated by the Common Core standards, which scaffold developmentally appropriate content over time. Until we have formally recognized national standards of high quality, dual enrollment and AP will partially fill that need. And because the two programs tend to serve different student populations in different settings and with different needs, it is unnecessary and unproductive to pit one against the other” (66–67).

Lichtenberger, Eric M., Allison Witt, Bob Blankenberger, and Doug Franklin. “Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment and Data Driven Policy Implementation.” Community College Journal of Research and Practice, vol. 38, no. 11, 2014, pp. 959–979.

Central idea/question:

  • This study seeks to fill a gap in quantitative evidence indicating that dual credit/dual enrollment is directly connected to positive student outcomes. Previous research arguing for the benefits of dual credit has typically been based on small samples from one or two high schools or other limited groups. The authors frame their research question as follows: “Among other factors, to what extent is dual credit/dual enrollment associated with an increased likelihood of postsecondary degree seeking enrollment at four-year institutions, community colleges, or delayed postsecondary enrollment?” (964).

Methods:

  • The study used a state-level census and attempted to control for various academic and socioeconomic factors, offering “a statistical analysis of the impact of dual enrollment on Illinois students regarding the associated likelihood of enrollment in postsecondary institutions as well as the associated likelihood of bachelor’s degree completion” (962).

Takeaways:

  • Findings of this study are that even after controlling for selection bias, variation across high schools, and several education and socioeconomic status variables, dual credit/dual enrollment was significantly related to increased odds of enrolling at both four-year institutions and community colleges upon high school graduation.
  • The authors also advocate for research grounded in (1) “richer student-level and institutional data”; (2) “cross-level data needed to determine in greater detail the kind of impact of dual credit”; and (3) how dual credit is funded (974).

Marken, Stephanie, Lucinda Gray, and Laurie Lewis. “Dual Enrollment Programs and Courses for High School Students at Postsecondary Institutions: 2010–11.” National Center for Education Statistics, 2013, https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/ 2013002.pdf

Central idea/question:

  • “This report provides descriptive national data on the prevalence and characteristics of dual enrollment programs at postsecondary institutions in the United States. For this survey, dual enrollment refers to high school students earning college credits for courses taken through a postsecondary institution” (1).

Methods:

  • “The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) previously collected data on dual enrollment and dual credit for the 2002–03 academic year from postsecondary institutions and high schools (Kleiner and Lewis 2005; Waits, Setzer, and Lewis 2005). To gather current data on dual enrollment and dual credit, NCES fielded an updated survey of postsecondary institutions on dual enrollment and a complementary survey of high schools on dual credit. The study presented in this report collected information for the 2010–11 academic year from postsecondary institutions on the enrollment of high school students in college-level courses within and outside of dual enrollment programs, and dual enrollment program characteristics” (1).

Takeaways:

  • “During the 12-month 2010–11 academic year, 53 percent of all institutions reported high school students took courses for college credit within or outside of dual enrollment programs (table 1). Forty-six percent of all institutions reported that high school students took courses for college credit within a dual enrollment program, and 28 percent of institutions reported that high school students took courses for college credit outside a dual enrollment program” (3).
  • “Among institutions with dual enrollment programs that had at least some instruction offered on high school campuses, 45 percent reported courses taught by both high school and college instructors, 34 percent reported high school instructors only, and 21 percent reported college instructors only” (3).
  • “Sixty percent of institutions reported that a minimum high school grade point average (GPA) was required in order to participate in the dual enrollment program (table 8). Other academic eligibility requirements reported by institutions included passing a college placement test (45 percent), a minimum score on a standardized test (43 percent), or a letter of recommendation (41 percent)” (3).

McCrimmon, Miles. “Bridging the Divide: Dual Enrollment Five Years Later.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 397–400.

Central idea/question:

  • “When a cultural practice as vast and variegated as dual enrollment is thus caricatured (twice), it’s time to broaden the conversation. It’s time to introduce the authors to the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), an organization of more than 300 two-year and four-year colleges and universities, high school districts, and state agencies committed to establishing, maintaining, and enforcing seventeen standards of accreditation regarding dual enrollment curriculum, students, faculty, assessment, and program evaluation. To paraphrase Robert Frost, writing about dual enrollment without accounting for NACEP is like playing tennis with the net down. Closer to home, in our own discipline, it’s time to point the authors to recent policy statements and resources outlining standards for teaching composition via dual enrollment published by the Two-Year College English Association (TYCA) and the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). These resources, inspired by the 2010 NCTE collection College Credit for Writing in High School: The “Taking Care of” Business, exhibit the impressively sharpened attention our discipline has been giving to dual enrollment in recent years” (397–398).

Takeaways:

  • “We can petulantly bemoan the ascendancy of dual enrollment (and by divesting ourselves from it, gradually render ourselves irrelevant) or we can work together to ensure that it draws from the best of both secondary and postsecondary cultures” (398).
  • “It seems likely (and appropriate) that as the new kid on the block, dual enrollment will (and should) undergo a heightened level of scrutiny. But reprising the malpractice argument takes us only so far. Carefully constructing hybrid models of collaboration and shared equity can take us much further” (398).

McWain, Katie. “Finding Freedom at the Composition Threshold: Learning from the Experiences of Dual Enrollment Teachers.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College, vol. 45, no. 1, 2018, pp. 406–424.

Central idea/question:

  • The author seeks to explore the limitations on academic freedom and labor conditions experienced by high school DE/DC composition teachers, with the hypothesis that these conditions differ significantly from those of high school instructors.

Methods:

  • This article draws on the author’s qualitative, multisite case study of thee dual enrollment partnerships between high schools and colleges in the Midwest, using interviews with instructors and administrators as well as analyses of programmatic documents to extrapolate themes across participants’ experiences (13 in total).

Takeaways:

  • “The academic freedom of dual enrollment instructors deserves our attention because they occupy a uniquely liminal institutional positionality” (408).
  • “[A] commitment to academic freedom in first-year writing must also include a commitment to helping dual enrollment instructors make informed choices about their curriculum, with an understanding of the expectations and best practices advocated by the colleges for who they teach” (414).
  • The author identifies four key challenges facing high school DE composition instructors: (1) they occupy different discourse communities and activity systems; (2) they are accountable to different curricular requirements and program standards; (3) they experience different pressures from educational stakeholders; and (4) they work under different labor conditions.
  • Composition’s professional organizations should (1) “incorporate explicit provisions for academic freedom into their revised position statements and policy documents”; (2) “offer teaching intern/externships, specializations, and graduate coursework in dual enrollment theory, policy, and pedagogy, in order to help prepare future WPAs and instructors to advocate for cross-level collaboration”; and (3) create alliances and leverage local networks of teachers in dual enrollment partnerships in order to “give instructors a stronger sense of disciplinary and professional community across institutions” (421).

Moreland, Casie. “Chasing Transparency: Using Disparate Impact Analysis to Assess the (In)Accessibility of Dual Enrollment Composition.” Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and the Advancement of Opportunity. Perspectives on Writing. Edited by Mya Poe, Asao B. Inoue, and Norbert Elliot. The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado, 2018, pp. 173–201. Available at https://wac.colostate.edu/books/assessment/

Central idea/question:

  • In determining how students are placed in dual enrollment programs, Moreland contends that “When test score data is not transparent or available, disparate impact and fairness of a chosen pre-college assessment genre is indeterminable” (171). She sets out to investigate “the implications of assessment genres that determine student eligibility and access of Dual Enrollment programs” in order to consider whether DE FYW placement produces “evidence of fairness” (171).

Methods:

  • Moreland synthesizes scholarship from rhetoric and composition studies, including dual enrollment scholarship in first-year writing and education, as well as assessment literature explaining “methods and theories for determining the fairness, validity, and reliability of assessment genres” (171). She narrates her attempt to obtain test scores for student placement at a particular research site, including her finding that this institution was under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights. She attempted to obtain information about the test data as well as the confidential complaint, sharing the details and implications of this search in her chapter (171–172).

Takeaways:

  • “Overall, there is a need for continuing research on the transparency, validity, reliability, and fairness of assessment genres that determine student access and placement in DE and DE FYW One idea for further study would be to—where scores are available—utilize Poe and her colleagues’ (2014) model to conduct a disparate impact analysis of DE FYW access and placement assessment genres” (172).
  • Moreland’s ultimate conclusion is that “Without transparent data and accountability for that data to enable validity studies such as disparate impact analysis, an assessment genre cannot be deemed valid, reliable, or fair. The lack of comparable data to understand how assessment is influencing access to DE writing courses is a violation of students’ civil rights” (172).

Nelson, Steven L., and Shawn J. Waltz. “Dual Enrollment Programs: Litigation and Equity.” Educational Policy, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 386–417.

Central idea/question:

  • While policymakers are often eager to “guide” K–12 students into dual enrollment programs, and while these programs may have clear benefits for students, there is inadequate research on the “legal risk” of dual enrollment for institutions (both high schools and sponsoring colleges/universities.) This article sets out to evaluate whether schools experience increased litigation risks “arising from the negligent protection of minors on postsecondary campuses” (386).

Methods:

  • “This article uses legal research methods to provide scenarios when harm to minor visitors to college campuses has resulted in judgments against postsecondary institutions. The article provides guidance—based on current legal precedent—for the avoidance of legal liability for school districts and postsecondary institutions participating in dual enrollment programs” (386).

Takeaways:

  • “. . . the establishment of dual enrollment programs may also subject postsecondary institution[s] to increased liability” (412).
  • “Although the review of cases found no cases directly linking dual enrollment students injured on college campuses, at least one similar but not identical case illustrates the potential risk of litigation and liability against institutions of higher education that fail to exercise the appropriate duty of care when inviting minors to campus” (412).
  • “In general, the courts have found institutions of higher education have had increased duties of care for business invitees, and those duties of care have increased even more when those business invitees have been underage. Thus, it is paramount that institutions of higher education assess their risk levels and protect dually enrolled students from preventable harms to protect the institutions from lawsuit and liability. In doing this, the postsecondary school should determine the prevalence of underage students on its campuses and implement strategies that would protect dually enrolled students from peril. This action might also provide exculpatory evidence in a lawsuit claiming negligence” (412).
  • “. . . more information and further studies are necessary to understand best practices associated with eliminating or minimizing the potential liabilities inherent in inviting minor students to the campuses of institutions of higher education” (413).

Pretlow, Joshua, and Jennifer Patterson. “Operating Dual Enrollment in Different Policy Environments: An Examination of Two States.” New Directions for Community Colleges, no. 169, 2015, pp. 21–29.

Central idea/question:

  • “What we mean by dual enrollment varies tremendously by Likewise, the policies, or lack of policies, in states shape how operators of dual enrollment programs can structure and implement programs on the local level” (21).

Methods:

  • This chapter investigates the consequences and implications of dual enrollment policy diversity on dual enrollment programs in the two states of Ohio and Virginia, noting similarities and differences between each state-level dual enrollment policy context. The study “draws on the lived experiences” of a dual enrollment coordinator who has worked in each state in order to examine the consequences of certain policies of lack of policies through the lens of three stakeholder perspectives: higher ed, secondary ed, and students.

Takeaways:

  • “[P]olicies can and often do create conflicting incentives among stakeholder groups” (21).
  • The authors make three main recommendations. First, “each state should have a clear policy that addresses all relevant areas of dual enrollment and can be found in one location or document” (27). Second, “policy related to dual enrollment should promote cooperation among educational sectors and institutions” (27). Third, “dual enrollment policy should promote equitable participation from all groups of students” (28).

Smith, Ashley A. “Questioning Teaching Qualifications.” Inside Higher Ed, 20 October 2015, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/10/20/colleges-and-states- scramble-meet-higher-learning-commissions-faculty-requirements.

Central idea/question:

  • “[The] nation’s largest accreditor has decided that many of those who lead dual enrollment classes aren’t qualified to do so, leaving schools and colleges fearing the loss of a program they view as a success” (n.p.).

Methods:

  • This article details a 2015 dual enrollment policy clarification from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the largest regional accreditor in the nation. The HLC’s statement “ha[d] many of the colleges and high schools within HLC’s 19-state, Midwestern jurisdiction scrambling to get their teachers, and some college professors, up to par.” After unpacking the impact of this policy clarification, Smith goes on to compare HLC’s standards to credentialing systems in other regions, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Takeaways:

  • “Because dual enrollment courses are often built by college faculty, it’s the responsibility of the professors and colleges to make certain the high school teachers offering these courses have the right credentials” (n.p.).

Stancliff, Michael, et al. “Collaborative Assessment of Dual Enrollment: The View from Arizona.” The Journal of Writing Assessment, vol. 10., no. 1, 2017, n. p.

Central idea/question:

  • This article offers a collaborative approach to assessing criteria for DC/CE curricula, drawing on other assessment models in order to develop a framework.

Methods:

  • The authors survey position statements, existing research on dual enrollment, assessment scholarship, and their own “local institutional history and dynamic” in order to offer “a thoroughgoing inventory of the state of DC/DE practices.”

Takeaways:

  • “Contributing to the murkiness surrounding dual enrollment is the difficulty of obtaining statewide (and even institution-specific) data.”
  • “Because NACEP and ECS are not systematically collecting state level data on course- specific DC/CE enrollment, it is difficult—if not impossible—to develop research-driven policy.”
  • “TYCA, CCCC, CWPA, and HLC statements vary in emphasis, but a strong consensus emerges around key areas of concern: the quality of the DC/CE courses themselves; the qualifications of high-school faculty teaching DC/CE courses; student readiness; the importance of collaborative oversight of DC/CE programs; and a number of pressing ethical issues.”
  • “FYW courses are the only small-course experiences many post-secondary students have, and as such, they serve an important role enculturating students within the college or university. These benefits are lost when students earn FYW credit before post- secondary matriculation.”
  • “Accreditation—awarded to programs that adhere to NACEP’s Standards that address comparability of rigor and assessment, instructor qualifications and opportunities for professional development, and accountability—is still a relatively new phenomenon; NACEP (n. d.) reported just 98 accredited partnerships nationwide for AY 2016–2017.”
  • The article ends with a heuristic of “Key Questions for Productive Dual Enrollment Collaborations.”
  • “[H]igh school faculty should receive the training and support necessary in taking on the responsibility of DC/CE instruction.”
  • “FYW programs must reconceive their traditional mission to include state-level participation in DC/CE program design and oversight, even if they do not sponsor these programs themselves.”

Swanson, Joni L. “Dual Enrollment Course Participation and Effects upon Student Persistence in College.” Bridging the High School-College Gap: The Role of Concurrent Enrollment Programs, edited by Gerald S. Edmonds and Tiffany M. Squires, Syracuse UP, 2016, pp. 331–353.

Central idea/question:

  • Using Tinto’s work on Institutional Departure, Swanson asserts that DE positively affects students’ ability to persist because it provides for opportunities for “institutional experiences” without being completely independent of a hs. In addition to earning “nest eggs” or credits for college, students are able to take chances and develop college readiness skills because they are in a supportive environment. While not stated in the article, this is reminiscent of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development.

Takeaways:

  • This work speaks to students’ willingness to “change behaviors and attitudes towards learning. DE courses and programs facilitate successful hs students to college transitions, improve academic and social prep for college, and motivate students to choose more rigorous hs classes prior to graduation” (334).
  • When students earned credits is important. In fact, “the acquisition of credits in the first year was more important to degree attainment than credit momentum by the end of the second year in college. DE students reaped the benefits of earning initial year credits, some of which were a result of college classes successfully completed in hs and subsequent continuous enrollment in college” (348).
  • To build on the earlier point about timing, if students do not stop between year 1 and year 2, then they are more likely to earn a college credential. This seems to be the important part and leads Swanson to assert that “Proponents of dual enrollment programs are encouraged to shift away from proclaiming that dual enrollment courses decrease the overall cost and time to complete college degrees toward suggesting that completion of a college credential is more possible when students participate in such programs” (348).
  • “Nest egg” credits are defined as credits that students have accumulated and do not want to give up (350). This is a different use of the term than how it has been used in other articles. Here, Swanson reasons that students do not want to deplete their stored credits by using them should they need to, whereas other theorists say that students will use the credits in order to keep moving forward.

Taczak, Kara, and William H. Thelin. “When Will We Rewrite the Story? The Other Side of Dual Enrollment.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College vol. 41, no. 4, 2014, pp. 394–396.

Thelin, William, and Kara Taczak. “(Re)Envisioning the Divide: Juliet Five Years Later.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College vol. 41, no. 1, 2013, pp. 6–19.

Takeaways:

  • The importance of this cluster of articles (Taczak and Thelin 2009, Taczak and Thelin 2014, and Thelin and Taczak 2013) is that they concentrated on the lived experience of high school students who were put into a dual enrollment program. (The 2009 article is not included in this bibliography because of the post-2012 scope, but can be found in vol. 37 number 1 of ) The case studies show students struggling in English composition initially and continuing to struggle as they moved further into their college education. Only one student obtained a degree, and she went through some harrowing experiences before getting it, including getting arrested. Some of the other stories are sad. Turning education into a race toward completion ignores the differing rates of maturation students experience. In terms of composition classes, which tend to be among the first that students take in these programs, allowing 14–16-year-olds to take these classes reinforces a notion that composition is about skill attainment, not about rhetorical complexity. Students do not have a lot of life knowledge to draw on in order to complete assignments, and college- level texts expected for research are beyond their reading level. One student used a student report she found online as a source and did not understand why it was not considered valid. Ultimately, the articles argue that the statistics and other sources of data do not adequately take into account what the students go through and how successful they are after they leave the program.

Taylor, Jason L., Victor H. M. Borden, and Eunkyoung Park. “State Dual Credit Policy: A National Perspective.” New Directions for Community Colleges, vol. 169, 2015, pp. 9–19.

Central idea/question:

  • “This chapter reports results from a national policy study that examined state dual credit policies and how state policies address the quality of dual credit courses . . . . The impetus for the study and interest in quality was based on the regional accrediting agencies’ increasing interest in how quality is assured for dual credit courses. [The authors] sought to examine state policies to understand whether and how they regulate and ensure quality for the purpose of forming regional accrediting agencies” (9).

Methods:

  • The authors used a combination of document analysis, a questionnaire, and structured interviews with state agency and board officials to document the ways in which policy in all 50 US states addresses three aspects of dual credit course quality: inputs (student eligibility, faculty credentials, funding and curriculum standards); processes (general oversight, faculty orientation and training, institutional review and monitoring, and state review and monitoring); and outputs (learning outcomes, transferability, and program and course outcomes) (12).

Takeaways:

  • “It is particularly important to emphasize that state policies establish the parameters for local practice. It follows that the program goals, assumptions, and design at the local level should reflect the state level, assuming local policy enactment lines with written policy” (15–16).
  • The authors identify two salient themes from previous literature on dual credit policy studies: “(a) there is a large variation in state policy, and (b) an emphasis on ‘quality’ is underrepresented” (11).
  • The most common elements addressed in state dual credit policies included course provisions, student eligibility, instructor eligibility, other quality assurance provisions, and policy enforcement.

Taylor, Jason L., and Joshua Pretlow. “Editors’ Notes.” New Directions for Community Colleges, vol. 2015, no. 169, pp. 1–7.

Central idea/question:

  • Mapping the boundaries of dual enrollment (definitions, rise of, current statistics).

Takeaways:

  • Enrollment: NCES “surveyed nationally representative sample of public secondary schools and estimated that enrollment” is about 2.0 million DE students by 2010–11 academic year (Thomas, Marken, Gray, & Lewis, 2012). “Eight years earlier [2002/3], about 813 high school students were taking college credit classes” and this “represents a 72 percent increase in less than a decade. Such growth encourages us to ask: why are so many more young people taking college courses before they complete hs?” (Thomson 52).
  • Location of programs: “Many state community college systems are primary providers of dual enrollment (e.g., AZ, CA, CO, IL, IA, WA, etc.), and community colleges continue to be the largest postsecondary provider of DE nationally. NCES data show that 98% of community colleges provide DE courses to hs students, a percentage that is higher than any other postsecondary sector.”
  • Pipeline/retention: “The fragmentation of our education systems means that this pipeline leaks at every new transition. For example, according to statistics from the US Dept. of Ed (Aud et al., 2013), 3.1 million students graduated from high school in 2010, successfully navigating the first two steps of the completion pipeline. However, only 2.1 million of those enrolled in college the following fall—meaning that nearly one third of them ‘leaked out’ at this third step. Of the 2004 graduates who successfully navigated the college matriculation step of the pipeline, nearly 40% were lost later on, having never completed a postsecondary credential eight years after high school” (Lauf and Ingels).
  • Retention demographics: “It is important to recognize that the pipeline is leakier for some types of students than others. For example, while 81% of upper-income high school graduates successfully enter college the following fall, only 52% of low-income students do so—a 29% gap (Aud et al., 2013). The result is a stunning disparity in college graduation rates between students from more-and-less advantaged groups: of the high school class of 2004, 23% of students from the lowest quartile had earned a college degree by 2012, whereas 67% of students from the highest quartile had done so (Lauf & Ingels, 2014). Similar gaps exist between White and Black or Hispanic Students” (Aud et ).
  • Dual enrollment is on the rise. Most dual enrollment programs are housed in community colleges as opposed to four-year schools. Many students do not complete their degrees, so offering college courses to qualified (a term that must be defined) high school students is theorized as a way to increase retention and completion rates.

Thomson, Alec. “DE’s Expansion: Cause for Concern.” Thought & Action, 2017, pp. 51–62.

Central idea/question:

  • How do dual enrollment programs become the way to reform higher education (time to degree cost, graduation rates, etc.), and what are their inherent dangers—particularly the economic dangers?

Takeaways

  • “These difficulties [debt, low grad rates, etc.] prompted parents, students, colleges and universities, politicians, and interest groups to call for higher ed reforms. While these voices rarely agreed on a prescribed course of action, many worked from a perception of colleges and universities as failures with the current model for higher education as broken and requiring immediate action. Faculty and staff must respond to these demands because although it is not always explicitly stated, at its core, this public discourse surrounding the value of higher education is redefining the nature of a college education” (51). The rapid expansion of DE really exemplifies this.
  • “Recent demographic trends and budgetary concerns are serious practical considerations that can override academic factors. For several years, as the economy has recovered and employment rates have risen, the overall enrollment at public colleges and universities, especially com colleges, has been in decline. Dual enrollment students can—and do—compensate for those losses on many campuses, as they become a larger part of the core student body. When this happens, administrators become more dependent upon dual enrolled students to sustain their institutions. ‘Colleges are making up for the declines in adult enrollment with dual-enrollment high school students,’ concludes Davis Jenkins, Columbia University senior research scholar” (56).
  • “As Todd Clark, director of the Office of Articulation for the FL Dept. of Ed, explains, ‘Dual enrollment is something that schools get incentives for—financial incentives for teachers and accountability incentives for having students in acceleration programs.’ The financial rewards only got higher during Pres. Obama’s administration, when the US Dept. of Ed waived rules that prohibited hs students from using Pell Grants to cover college credit costs. This broadening of federal policy not only has created academic possibilities for thousands of poor and low-income high school students, but also has encouraged colleges and universities to pursue this new revenue stream” (57).
  • Higher education is difficult to reform, and DE programs provide ways to reduce time to degree and student debt without having to make substantial changes to colleges and universities. Colleges, particularly community colleges where most DE is situated, depend on tuition dollars from DE students to help offset decreases in enrollment in times when the economy is strong (current conditions). Finally, there are what seem to be financial benefits to students because they are now allowed to use their Pell Grant dollars to pay for DE courses taken while still in college. Many students do not realize that they have limited Pell dollars, and this article raises concerns that they will run out of funds before earning their degrees.

Tinberg, Howard, and Jean-Paul Nadeau. “What Happens When High School Students Write in a College Course? A Study of Dual Credit.” English Journal, vol. 102, no. 5, 2013, pp. 35–42.

Central idea/question:

  • “What do students miss when replacing high school classes with college coursework? Does skipping ahead and missing the writing and reading assignments in their high school English classes make these students less prepared for college-level writing and reading?” (35).

Methods:

  • This article draws from the authors’ study of four dual-enrolled college writing students in 2010. They interviewed each student at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester and collected copies of writing assignments in addition to as many student writing samples from the courses as possible. The article write-up takes the form of two student “case studies,” with themes such as “Resisting the Role of Expert,” “Struggling with Genre,” “Emphasizing Form and Formula,” and “Going Beyond Summary.”

Takeaways:

  • “No study of college-level writing done by dual-credit students can be considered comprehensive without a thorough understanding of high school writing instruction and the writing produced. To get at answers, high school and college faculty need to work together” (40).
  • “Like all novice college writers, these dual-credit students struggled to understand the full implications of the questions being asked, were challenged to gain a full understanding of the genre, as well as of the needs of their audience, and possessed a limited understanding of the revision process. All that said, we remain convinced that dual-credit writers face distinctive challenges in the first-semester college writing course, among them a lack of confidence and experience. Indeed, future studies of dual-enrolled students need to include a consideration of these students’ social and psychological adjustments on entering college classrooms” (40).
  • “. . . If we are to show that high school students as a group face distinctive challenges when taking college-level courses, we’ll need to identify more carefully than we routinely do the issues dual-enrolled students face . . . . Tremendous pressures are being imposed on high schools and colleges—especially community colleges—to clear a pathway for high school students or those who drop out of high school altogether to go to college. Responding to those pressures requires clear evidence produced by thoughtful and deliberate research” (40).

Zinth, Jennifer Dounay. “Dual Enrollment: Who is Primarily Responsible for Paying Tuition?” Education Commission of the States, 2015, https:/ecs.force.com/mbdata/MBQuestRTL.

Central idea/question:

  • High school students should be given access to Pell Grant funds to take dual enrollment courses.

Takeaways:

  • In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called for increased access (and cheaper access) to college for all students.
  • Community colleges are the main focus because most DE programs are housed in community colleges. A pilot program was set up to allow 10,000 high school students to use their Pell Grant money toward dual enrollment tuition.
  • There must be stronger connections between K–12, higher education, and jobs. Dual enrollment programs help link K–12 with colleges to shore up one pathway.
  • After accumulating college credits, students are more likely to go to college and to graduate. This article claims that students also benefit from DE programs that are aligned with colleges and universities that follow a “pathways” model (see the Community College Research Center for more on Guided Pathways).
Suggestions for Further Reading and Research

Allen, Linda, et al. “Discipline-Specific Professional Development for Continuing Instructors.” National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. April 2015.

Erford, Jamie. “Sense of Place and Concurrent Enrollment: Creating College Places in High School Settings.” Thesis. University of Findlay, 2017. Available at http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=findlay1503050057101256.

“FACTSHEET: Expanding College Access through the Dual Enrollment Pell Experiment.” US Department of Education, 2016, https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet- expanding-college-access-through-dual-enrollment -pell-experiment.

Moreland, Casie. White Resistance, White Complacency: The Absent-Presence of Race in the Development of Dual Enrollment Programs. Diss. Arizona State University, 2018.

Moreland, Casie, and Keith D. Miller. “The Triumph of Whiteness: Dual Credit Courses and Hierarchical Racism in Texas.” Haunting Whiteness: Rhetorics of Whiteness in a ‘Post- Racial’ Era. Edited by Tammie Kennedy, Joyce Middleton, and Krista Ratcliffe. Southern Illinois UP, 2016, pp. 182–194.

Sehulster, Patricia J. “Forums: Bridging the Gap Between High School and College Writing.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College, vol. 39, no. 4, 2012, pp. 343-54.

Scott-Stewart, Erin D. Teaching College Writing to High School Students: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Dual Enrollment Composition Students’ Writing Curriculum and Writing Self-Efficacy. Diss. Louisiana State University, 2018.

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