Early college and dual enrollment challenges: Inroads and impediments to access

Funding Models /

In recent years, some school reformers have come to see early college and dual enrollment as mechanisms for increasing the academic engagement and performance of a range of students beyond those exhibiting high academic achievement or ability. Despite purported benefits, research on the dynamics of such programs is limited. This case study adds to the relevant literature by using semistructured interviews with key participants to investigate the cross-institutional dynamics enabling and constraining the early college and dual enrollment arrangements sponsored by a consortium of high schools and colleges in a Midwestern state. Qualitative data analysis surfaced four salient themes explaining patterns of interaction across the partnering institutions: Organizational Conditions and Motives, Border Crossers, Organizational Power Dynamics, and Personal Attitudes Regarding Early College and Dual Enrollment.