The relationship between college-level learning in high school and post-secondary academic success
Daly, Dion D.
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The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of college-level learning in high school on the post secondary academic success of first term, full time freshman (FTFT) students. This study was conducted by analyzing admission and transcript data of FTFT students who began their undergraduate studies from the fall of 1999 to the fall of 2006. A group of 269 FTFT students who had earned at least one credit of accepted college-level coursework while in high school (CLLHS) were compared to a randomly selected sample of 269 FTFT students who had no accepted CLLHS credits. The groups were compared by gender, race, high school average, SAT score, first-semester college GPA, total number of college credits accumulated by the fourth semester, cumulative college GPA by the fourth semester, and persistence to the fourth semester. Descriptive statistics (measures of dispersion, indices of centrality), bivariate strategies (crosstabulation, correlation), and multivariate procedures (ANOVA, ANCOVA, Pearson Chi-Square) were utilized to compare these two groups. Results indicated that, after controlling for academic achievement (high school average and SAT score), students with CLLHS credits achieved a statistically significant higher mean first semester GPA than those without CLLHS credits. Moreover, students with CLLHS credits earned a statistically significant higher mean cumulative GPA by the fourth semester, accumulated a statistically significant higher mean number of total credits by the fourth semester, and were found to persist at a higher but not statistically significant mean rate than students with no CLLHS credits. Consequently, the results of the data analysis of this study suggested that the existence of CLLHS credits had an overall positive impact on the post secondary academic success of these first term, full time students.