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ERIC Number: ED579604
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 157
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-3553-1853-1
Dual Enrollment for Low-Income Students: Exploring Student Perceptions
Felder, Theresa B.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northeastern University
Most educators are keenly aware that a high socioeconomic status (SES) equates to better academic preparation than a low SES and high SES students are more likely to attain a college degree. One strategy for closing the higher education equity gap is to provide college-level courses to students while in high school through dual enrollment programs. These programs offer the opportunity for high school students to earn high school and college credit for courses taken at the high school, on a college campus, or online. Dual enrollment programs are an ideal way for students who have limited economic resources and have the ability to be successful in early college programs, to begin to work on their college degrees while still in high school. In most cases, these programs are free to the students, which saves students from potential college debt after matriculating to college. The researcher conducted a qualitative study that sought to gain an understanding of the experience of low-income students who participated in the dual enrollment program in Ohio and then matriculated to the community college that was associated with their dual enrollment participation. The study was guided by the overarching question, "What is the experience of low-income college students who participate in a dual enrollment program prior to matriculating to college?" This question was further defined by answering the following sub-questions: (1) As college students, what are the students' perceptions of their past experience as a dually enrolled high school student?; (2) How do the students perceive their transition to college in terms of their access to information and social supports as a result of participation in the dual enrollment program?; and (3) How do the students perceive their preparation for college academic success in terms of college readiness as a result of their participation in the dual enrollment program? The theoretical framework for this study was centered on Social Capital Theory and also utilized Conley's college readiness model as a conceptual framework for evaluating college readiness. As this study sought to understand the lived experiences of the participants, data were collected and analyzed using an interpretive phenomenological methodology. The findings from the study indicate that many of the low-income students underutilized the dual enrollment program, which limited the impact of the dual enrollment program on their social capital development and their overall college readiness. Reasons for the limited participation in the program adds to the literature that details common barriers to participation for low-income students. Policy implications and best practices for policy design are discussed in relation to the barriers identified in the study. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A