Monday, March 27, 2017

Dual Credit-Course Completion Leads to Success in College

Authors, Dr. L. Allen Phelps and Dr. Hsun-Yu Chan
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have published the results of a study entitled “Optimizing Technical Education Pathways: Does Dual-Credit Course Completion Predict Students’ College and Labor Market Success?” in the 2016 Issue of the Journal of Career and Technical Education (JCTE).

Authors L. Allen Phelps and Hsun-Yu Chan (now at the Texas A&M University-Commerce) explored a variety of student and school level factors associated with student success in CTE program paths featuring dual credit courses.  Looking at the experiences of more than 2,000 students across five years, Phelps noted that, “This is one of the first longitudinal studies of dual credit course taking that has included the labor market effects, as well as important program factors such as the location of the courses and instructor affiliations.”

Based on the results, the authors concluded that after controlling for several high school-level and individual-level factors, hierarchical linear models revealed that dual credit learners attending a technical college, compared to non-dual credit learner attending the same college from the same high schools, had several significantly better outcomes including: college course completion rates, second year retention, three-year graduation rate, as well as earnings in 2012-13.

According to Phelps, “While our findings are limited to an upper Midwest community, they extend and highlight the positive relationship between high school dual credit completion and later college and labor market outcomes. Compared to dual credit courses completed on the college campus, courses offered at the high school and taught by high school career and technical instructors consistently predicted greater levels of college student success and better labor market outcomes.”  Several implications and suggestions for CTE practice, policy and research related to dual credit instruction are offered.

Reading/Downloading Full Articles
The full version of this article may be accessed as part of Volume 31, Issue 1 (2016) of the Journal of Career and Technical Education, available at

Submitting Manuscripts for Publication
To submit manuscripts and preparation guidelines, please visit the JCTE's page at