Dual-Credit Courses and the Road to College: Experimental Evidence from Tennessee

72 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Steven W. Hemelt

Steven W. Hemelt

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Nathaniel Schwartz

Tennessee Department of Education

Susan M. Dynarski

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Education

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

Dual-credit courses expose high school students to college-level content and provide the opportunity to earn college credits, in part to smooth the transition to college. With the Tennessee Department of Education, we conduct the first randomized controlled trial of the effects of dual-credit math coursework on a range of high school and college outcomes. We find that the dual-credit advanced algebra course alters students' subsequent high school math course-taking, reducing enrollment in remedial math and boosting enrollment in precalculus and Advanced Placement math courses. We fail to detect an effect of the dual-credit math course on overall rates of college enrollment. However, the course induces some students to choose four-year universities instead of two-year colleges, particularly for those in the middle of the math achievement distribution and those first exposed to the opportunity to take the course in 11th rather than 12th grade. We see limited evidence of improvements in early math performance during college.

Keywords: dual-credit courses, college enrollment, college choices, math coursework

JEL Classification: I21, I23, I24, I28

Suggested Citation

Hemelt, Steven W. and Schwartz, Nathaniel and Dynarski, Susan M., Dual-Credit Courses and the Road to College: Experimental Evidence from Tennessee (July 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12481. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3427620

Steven W. Hemelt (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Nathaniel Schwartz

Tennessee Department of Education ( email )

United States

Susan M. Dynarski

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Education ( email )

610 East University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259
United States

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