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Title:Community college dual credit: differential participation and differential impacts on college access and completion
Author(s):Taylor, Jason
Director of Research:Bragg, Debra D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bragg, Debra D.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Baber, Lorenzo D.; Ikenberry, Stanley O.; Robinson-Cimpian, Joseph P.; Lichtenberger, Eric
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Dual credit
Community college
Equity
Illinois
College access
College completion
Abstract:This study examines the impact of dual credit policy at the time dual credit was beginning to take hold in Illinois, using a large cohort of students who completed high school in spring 2003. The research sought to answer critical questions about the average outcomes of students participating in dual credit and the average outcomes of sub-samples of students of color and low-income students participating in dual credit. It relies on theoretical constructs associated with Perna and Thomas’ (2008) Conceptual Model of Student Success and uses a descriptive and quasi-experimental design. Propensity score matching is used to estimate the impact of student participation in community college dual credit courses during the senior year of high school on two outcomes: college enrollment and college completion. Propensity score matching, a robust technique for reducing bias using observational data (Rosenbaum & Rubin, 1983; 1984), is used to estimate the average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) for the whole sample. Inspired by Rawls’ (1999) notion of justice as fairness, the differential impacts of dual credit participation are examined on sub-samples of students of color and low-income students. To do this, and to determine if there is effect heterogeneity in the ATT estimates, propensity score matching is used to analyze results for the sub-samples of students of color and low-income students. Results show the impact of community college dual credit taken during the senior year of high school has a statistically significant impact on students’ chances of enrolling in college and completing college, on average. Results of the propensity score matching analysis also suggest that, on average, dual credit students of color and low-income students are more likely to enroll in college and complete college compared to the matched sample of non-dual credit students of color and low-income students. However, using Rawls’ (1999) notion of justice as fairness and his difference principle as a standard, the existing dual credit policy in Illinois does not benefit students of color and low-income students equally. That is, relative to the average of the full matched sample of dual credit students that consists mostly of White middle- and upper-income students, the sub-samples of underserved students participating in dual credit do not access college and complete college at the same rates. Results of this study provide baseline data for the effectiveness of Illinois’ dual credit policy, but the policy landscape has changed since 2002-2003. The results suggest that dual credit policy has benefits for students but falls short when data are analyzed using Rawls’ fairness principle. Future research should replicate this study using more recent data to examine how and if policy changes since 2002-2003 have impacted the effect of dual credit.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/44429
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Jason Taylor
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
2015-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05


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