The Effects of Dual Enrollment Courses: Do They Prepare Students for College?
The focus on academic success starts early for many students. Many high school students have clear career goals and may take steps to ensure success at the collegiate level in order to achieve their goals (McWhirter, Torres, Salgado, & Valdez, 2007). Studies have shown that students who rate high on academic self-efficacy in high school continue to succeed in college (Eccles, Vida, & Barber, 2004; Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). One method in which high school students can be better prepared for college and increase their academic self-efficacy (Margolis & McCabe, 2004) is by participating in programs that offer college-level curriculum at the high school level, such as dual enrollment (DE) programs. Two hundred and eight undergraduate students responded to questionnaires assessing factors that may help DE students succeed in college, including higher self-efficacy, academic hardiness, perfectionism, and expectations of success. DE students possessed higher GPAs compared to non-DE students. Results showed the most important factor affecting GPA in DE students was facilitating anxiety. For those students that did not take dual enrollment courses, the main factors related to GPA were academic hardiness and general self-efficacy. College administrators may wish to emphasize different factors for success based on students’ academic backgrounds.
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