Research Design Issues in Education Dual Credit Essay

Total Length: 945 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 4

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The Challenges of Dual Credit: A Research Proposal

Problem Statements

Dual credit or dual enrollment programs “are designed to boost college access and degree attainment, especially for students typically underrepresented in higher education,” (United States Department of Education, 2017, p. 1). With this lofty goal set, it should seem that dual credit programs would be reducing the educational achievement gap. After all, dual credit programs by definition allow all students the opportunity to potentially shorten the amount of time they spend in college, thereby reducing their tuition fees that enable the completion of a degree program. Yet recent research shows that college enrollment and completion gaps may be getting wider, based both on ethnicity and on socioeconomic class (Gewertz, 2017). The results of the RAND study reported by Gewertz (2017) may not be applicable specifically to the state of Hawaii, and yet educational attainment disparities do continue to exist and it is the role of the state’s Department of Education to make dual credit more effective and cost-effective.

Research questions could therefore focus on several aspects of the problem including first how to operationalize success rates, and how to determine whether dual credit is actually increasing disparities in educational attainment. Second, research questions could relate to perceptions of the dual credit programs among students, parents, and educators to determine whether there are reasons why disadvantaged students in the state might be (a) using dual enrollment less often than their privileged peers; and/or (b) not entering and/or completing a college degree program after participating in dual credit successfully.

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Survey research might also help policymakers in the state of Hawaii determine what needs to be done. For example, is it more important to improve visibility and access to dual credit programs among specific populations such as new immigrants and English language learners, or is it a more pressing need to provide structural supports for disadvantaged students during their dual enrollment courses? Alternatively, perhaps dual credit itself is not the issue but higher education culture and climate are what is preventing disadvantaged students from attaining a desired achievement outcome. The research questions will then determine the appropriate research design, and whether it would be more effective to use qualitative or quantitative methods.

I would then refer to the readings like Lopez-Alvarado (2017) and Muijs (n.d.) to help me formulate an appropriate research question. As Lopez-Alvarado (2017) points out, one of the central issues for researchers at this stage in the process is to focus on ontology and epistemology. What kinds of knowledge would be….....

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References

Camburn, E.M., Goldring, E., Sebastian, J. et al. (2016). An examination of the benefits, limitations, and challenges of conducting randomized controlled experiments with principals. Education Administration Quarterly 52(2): 187-220.

Gewertz, C. (2017). Dual credit: race and income gaps are getting wider, study finds. Education Week, Aug 29, 2017. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/high_school_and_beyond/2017/08/dual_credit_race_and_income_gaps_getting_wider.html

Lopez-Alvarado, J. (2017). Educational research.

Muijs, D. (n.d.). Introduction to quantitative research. United States Department of Education (2017). Dual enrollment programs. https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_dual_enrollment_022817.pdf

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"Research Design Issues In Education Dual Credit", 27 July 2018, Accessed.9 July. 2020,
https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essays/research-design-issues-education-dual-credit-essay