University of Texas System Dual Credit Study: Dual Credit and Success in College

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Dual Credit (DC) programs are collaborations between high schools and colleges that allow high school students to enroll in college courses and receive simultaneous academic course credit from both college and high school. Texas experienced a 650% increase in DC participation between 2000 and 2015. In Fall 2015, the majority of first-time in college students entering academic institutions within the University of Texas (UT) System had some type of college credit from either dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB).

At the request of the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC), UT System’s Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI), in collaboration with all eight UT academic institutions, completed a comprehensive study using a mixed-methods approach (both quantitative and qualitative data) on dual credit to determine what impact—positive or negative—it may have on student success in college. Specifically, the goal of the UT System study is to obtain a better understanding of the relationship between dual credit participation during high school and outcomes of students who matriculated at UT System academic institutions.

The results of the study tell a complex story. The following are a few findings from the four focus areas of the study: 1) dual credit participation; 2) student success outcomes; 3) dual credit perspectives; 4) and policy, process, and programs.