August 2022: Research Priorities for Advancing Equitable Dual Enrollment Policy and Practice

Research / Research Spotlights /

In this month’s research spotlight, we highlight some research and work that involved many NACEP leaders and contributors, including NACEP Executive Director Amy Williams, Board members Mike Beam and Jason Taylor, and Research Commission member John Fink.

Study and Title Author: “Research Priorities for Advancing Equitable Dual Enrollment Policy and Practice” by Jason L. Taylor, Taryn Ozuna Allen, Brian P. An, Christine Denecker, Julie A. Edmunds, John Fink, Matt S. Giani, Michelle Hodara, Xiaodan Hu, Barbara F. Tobolowsky, and Willie Chen.

Study Purpose: The purpose of this white paper was to review and synthesize the literature and evidence on dual enrollment and develop a research agenda that would help inspire more research to advance more equitable policies and practices.

Summary of Study’s Findings: The paper includes lengthy literature reviews in nine topical-based areas on topics such as dual enrollment equity and justice, access and participation, early colleges, and finance and affordability, for example. In Section One of the paper, the authors synthesize this evidence into fourteen broad conclusions that help readers digest the longer literature reviews. For example, the authors conclude that research consistently shows that on average, dual enrollment positively impacts high school and college outcomes. The authors also conclude that access to dual enrollment is inequitable and that many historically marginalized student groups do not participate in dual enrollment at rates equal to their counterparts. Another compelling conclusion is that CTE dual enrollment is a prevalent model in many states and that the research shows that CTE dual enrollment is helping students prepare for college and careers. Similarly, the research on Early College High Schools (ECHS) shows that they help recruit historically marginalized students and they lead to positive outcomes for these students. In addition to reviewing the evidence on dual enrollment, the authors advance five research priorities for the next generation of dual enrollment research:  1) Center Equity and Justice in Dual Enrollment Research; 2) Examine Dual Enrollment Design and its Influence on Access and Outcomes; 3) Refine Dual Enrollment Outcome Measures; 4) Deepen Research on the Dual Enrollment Student Experience; and 5) Pursue New and Emerging Research Topics. In sum, the paper includes about 150 specific research questions that need answered.

Study’s Implications: This paper provides a robust assessment of the existing evidences and helps the field interpret and synthesize the evidence. The paper can be used by policymakers and practitioners to help digest and translate the literature to inform decision-making. It can be used by researchers and doctoral students to help them identify research questions to pursue and answer as part of their research studies and agendas. Finally, the paper can also be used by funders to help identify and prioritize research areas that need funded.

How to Access the Research: The publication is available on the website for the Collaborative for Higher Education Research and Policy (CHERP) at the University of Utah.

Spotlight Author: Jason Taylor