An investigation of student perceptions of dual enrollment at a mid-sized western community college
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Dual enrollment programs have become prominent across the U.S. Several studies show positive outcomes including increased high school completion, improved postsecondary persistence, and higher college degree completion. This study evaluated one dual enrollment program offered by a mid-sized community college in Wyoming. This research was the institution's first formal assessment of dual enrollment with respect to students' academic preparation for college, social/personal preparation for college, ability to transfer credits, and overall program satisfaction. The purpose of the research was to provide educators and policy makers with information useful for program improvement and National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) accreditation. A survey administered in July 2009 provided data for this study. Five null hypotheses were tested utilizing chi-square analysis. Findings were: (1) dual enrollment prepared students academically for the challenges of college, (2) dual enrollment enhanced students' understanding of the college student role, (3) dual enrollment did not help students make college/career path decisions, and (4) students were very satisfied with their dual enrollment experience and recommended the program to others. Number of dual enrollment credits acquired had the most significant relationship with improved academic preparation while location of dual enrollment classes (college or high school campus) had the most impact on students' social acclimation.
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