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High School/College Transitions: A Case Study Examining the Impact of a Dual Credit Program at Fleming College

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore how Dual Credit (DC) programs at Ontario high schools impacted the persistence of students when they are in college and what specific features of these programs affected the participating students’ academic performance. This study focused on the Dual Credit students enrolled full-time at Sir Sandford Fleming College who successfully completed one full-time semester of academic study. Fleming College is one of the 24 Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts & Technology. This was a case study based on both qualitative and quantitative data collected by a number of methods including survey questionnaires, audio-recorded phone and face-to-face interviews, and document analysis. There were a number of findings related to persistence at College. For example, the DC student group persisted at the same rate as did all College students and DC students who enrolled in a College program that was “related” to their DC program were more likely to persist at college. Although there was no attempt to compare the data for the two groups because of uncontrollable variables, this study found that DC students (as a group) did not achieve academically quite at the same level, as did all Fleming College students. However, considering that the DC target group was “at risk” students, the overall academic achievement (64%) of the DC students (2011) was similar to the academic achievement of all College students (68%). The participants in this study recommended that the DC program be as much like college as possible. This study supports previous research, which indicates that the DC courses should be delivered at the college campus (rather than in the high school) and DC students should be integrated with other college students. Although this was a case study of DC students at only one Ontario College and the findings are not generalizable to other sites, the findings of this study will partially address a gap in the research literature and add to the body of knowledge about the impact of DC programs in the areas of student engagement, integration and persistence with respect to DC programs elsewhere.

Author: Linda Philpott-Skilton

Source: University of Toronto - TSpace

Size: 1.50 MB
Last Updated: July 31, 2015