The Effects of Dual-Credit Enrollment on Underrepresented Students: The Utah Case

  •  Richard Haskell    


This study considers the effects of Utah’s Dual-Credit Enrollment (DCE) and Early College High School (ECHS) programs on underrepresented students’ performance via an examination of the Utah Data Alliance longitudinal public education dataset. The study assesses standardized testing scores, high school graduation rates, dual course credits earned, higher education enrollment, time-to-completion, and degree attainment outcomes for various minority and low income student groups enrolled in DCE and ECHS programs.

To limit the endogeneity and self-selection bias present in non-experimental data, the study employs Propensity Score Matching method (PMS) as a quasi-experimental design methodology. Although PMS offers many advantages, its strength as an estimator is dependent on the existence of complete and quality matching variables. To assure accurate model specifications given the available data, Receiving Operator Characteristic (ROC) Analysis is applied to variations on the PMS models.

Estimated outcomes reflect positive effects for each of the examined student populations differentiated by gender, race, income and English Language Learner status. The economic effects of accumulating higher education course credits and decreases in higher education time-to-completion may yield the most interesting outcomes, enjoy the strongest causal claims, and result in measurable household and state level savings. These outcomes may also reveal potential weakness in the structure of higher education course and major programming, and the difficulty presented as high school students make higher education decisions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.