An increasing number of students have earned college credit while still in high school through dual enrollment courses, Advanced Placement exams, International Baccalaureate coursework, and other credit-earning opportunities, referred to as early college credit, or ECC, for this study. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between ECC and academic performance for students at a rural, public liberal arts college in the Midwest, specifically seeking to determine if ECC students earn a higher grade point average (GPA) after one or two semesters of college, if ECC and non-ECC students bare similar credit loads or persist to a second year and on to degree completion at different rates, and finally, if ECC students complete their degrees quicker than non-ECC students. Utilizing a non-experimental, descriptive design to examine the relationship between ECC and these academic performance indicators, the researcher considered first year students at Midwestern College who enrolled each year from fall 2004 through fall 2007, totaling 1448 students in all. Chi-square, ANOVA, and MANOVA analyses led to results indicating a positive relationship between ECC and college academic performance. Generally, ECC students earn higher first, second and third term GPAs, complete more credits, graduate with a higher GPA, and graduate earlier than non-ECC students. Researchers concluded that ECC experience does predicts a higher potential for success at Midwestern College, but further study should examine causation versus correlation.
A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University Of Minnesota in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education, May 2014.
Committee names: Bruce Munson (Chair), Diane J. Rauschenfels. This item has been modified from the original to redact the signatures present.
University of Minnesota, Duluth. College of Education and Human Service Professions.
Nuest, Kalee Rae.
The Impacts of Early College Credit on Postsecondary Academic Performance.
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