New White Paper Outlines Research Priorities for Equitable Dual Enrollment
Every year in the United states, about 1.4 million high school students --or 9% of
all high school
students -- enroll in college courses in programs called dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, or
dual credit. Once considered niche programs for a relatively small group of students, dual
enrollment programs have now reached the majority of American public high schools and are
accessible to a much broader group of students. In fact, national data show that one in three high
school students have college credit via dual enrollment by the time they graduate high school. In
other words, dual enrollment programs are becoming an essential part of the high school student
However, opportunities to access dual enrollment programs are not equal. Research consistently
shows that Students of Color, low-income students, first-generation students and other
historically marginalized students can't access dual enrollment. Yet, when they do participate in dual enrollment, some research shows that historically marginalized students can be successful
and are more likely to transition to college and careers because of their participation.
It's for these reasons that Alex Perry and I assembled a talented team of dual enrollment
researchers and educational policy and practice leaders to develop a research agenda for dual
enrollment toward the goal of advancing equitable dual enrollment policies and practice. Our
researchers took stock of the existing evidence and we engaged a wide group of educational
leaders to identify what existing evidence tells us about dual enrollment and what research
questions have been left unanswered.
The result of this work over the past two years is a new white paper that synthesizes the research
on dual enrollment and provides a detailed set of research priorities to advance equitable dual
enrollment policies and practices. We identified five major research priorities:
1. Center Equity and Justice in Dual Enrollment Research
2. Examine Dual Enrollment Design and its Influence on Access and Outcomes
3. Refine Dual Enrollment Outcome Measures
4. Deepen Research on the Dual Enrollment Student Experience
5. Pursue New and Emerging Research Topics
Although the evidence tells us that dual enrollment is an effective strategy for advancing college
access and college and career readiness, more research is needed on how to effectively design
and implement more equitable dual enrollment programs. The paper includes about 150 specific
research questions among the five research priorities on topics such as program eligibility policies,
program funding and student affordability, teaching and learning, career and technical education
dual enrollment, and student support services.
It is our hope that this research agenda will generate a new wave of dual enrollment scholarship
that can be shared with policymakers, leaders, and practitioners who are working to advance
more equitable dual enrollment policies. Please share this research agenda with your networks
and help us advance a more just and inclusive pathway to college and careers.
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