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ERIC Number: ED504131
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
Statistics in Brief: Course Credit Accrual and Dropping Out of High School, by Student Characteristics, February 2009. NCES 2009-035
Hampden-Thompson, Gillian; Warkentien, Siri; Daniel, Bruce
National Center for Education Statistics
With federal legislation now requiring schools to report graduation rates, high school dropouts are receiving renewed attention from educators, policymakers, and researchers. Recent research has indicated a relationship between the number of course credits that students accrue each school year and students' high school completion status (Allensworth and Easton 2005). This Statistics in Brief uses data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) to examine the number of credits earned by high school students and the relationship between course credit accrual and dropping out. Differences in course credit accrual are first reported by selected subjects (English, mathematics, and science). Then, differences in the average cumulative number of course credits accrued across academic years between high school graduates and dropouts are examined in order to describe their enrollment and completion behaviors. This analysis examines variations in course credit accrual and the timing of dropping out by student characteristics (sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status) and students' school characteristics (location and sophomore class size). In addition, this Statistics in Brief compares the characteristics of students who dropped out with those of students who graduated on time, to show how these groups differ. Findings indicate that high school dropouts earned fewer credits than did on-time graduates within each year of high school, and the cumulative course credit accrual gap increased with each subsequent year. Standard Error Tables are appended. (Contains 9 figures, 14 tables and 18 footnotes.)
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
IES Funded: Yes