Study to Focus on Dual Credit For Students

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Indiana University researchers will help with a study examining dual credit programs in several rural Kentucky school districts. The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy will provide data collection and analysis for Virginia-based CNA Corp., which is conducting the study. August 25, 2014

News Release

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University will conduct data collection and analysis for a study examining dual enrollment and dual credit programs in Kentucky. The study, being conducted by Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia at CNA Corp., is intended to provide a picture of how dual enrollment and dual credit programs are designed and implemented in six non-urban school districts.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia is one of a network of 10 laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, to provide technical assistance and research support to educators and policymakers at state and local levels. Regional Educational Laboratories partner with schools, state education departments and others to support the education system through practices based on research. Justin Baer is director of REL Appalachia, which serves Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. CEEP Director John Hitchcock is also REL Appalachia's director of research.

Dual enrollment and dual credit courses have been promoted by education policymakers in recent years as a way to prepare high school students for college coursework and allow them to gain early college credits to ease their pathway to a degree. The Commonwealth of Kentucky passed legislation in 2009 to boost such efforts aimed at increasing the percentage of students who are ready for college and career. Dual enrollment programs allow students to enroll simultaneously in a high school and postsecondary institution with credit coming from either the postsecondary institution or both. Dual credit programs allow academic credit from both the high school and postsecondary institution for the same course.

"In Kentucky, there has been a recent push to think about how to support college and career preparation, not unlike the rest of the country," said Mary Piontek, senior research associate at CEEP and co-principal investigator on the study along with Patricia Kannapel, a senior research scientist at CNA Corp.

"The study will gather information about the nature of the partnerships between districts and postsecondary institutions, the types of courses, the types of students enrolled, who teaches the courses, student recruitment strategies, and funding sources, in addition to other characteristics about the dual enrollment and dual credit programs," Piontek said.

Piontek said the REL Appalachia partners sought to better understand how the programs are being carried out in a subset of rural districts in the state to capture the experiences of K-12 and postsecondary administrators and other key stakeholders, by interviewing them about how they design and implement their particular dual enrollment and dual credit programs. The six participating districts represent a range of district and school size, location, and duration of dual enrollment and dual credit programming.

Data collection will include phone interviews with representatives from key stakeholder groups, demographic information about the participating institutions, documents and materials related to the design and implementation of their dual enrollment and dual credit programs, and a review of the current professional literature.

Data collection began in fall semester 2014, and the report will be released following review by the Institute of Education Sciences.

CEEP, one of the country's leading nonpartisan program evaluation and education policy research centers, promotes and supports rigorous evaluation and research primarily, but not exclusively, for educational, human services and nonprofit organizations and agencies. Clients include state and local agencies throughout the U.S., various federal departments, private organizations and foundations, and NATO. Center projects address state, national and international education questions. It is a center of the Indiana University School of Education in Bloomington.

IU Bloomington is the flagship residential, research-intensive campus of Indiana University. Its academic excellence is grounded in the humanities, arts and sciences, and a range of highly ranked professional programs. Founded in 1820, the campus serves more than 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in more than 300 disciplines. Widely recognized for its global and international programs, outstanding technology and historic limestone campus, IU Bloomington serves as a global gateway for students and faculty members pursuing issues of worldwide significance.

Source: Indiana University