Preparing for the STEM Pathways? Dual Enrollment and College Major Choice in STEM

Xiaodan Hu, Hsun Yu Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Guided by the STEM pathway model, our study hypothesizes that dual enrollment can serve as an effective strategy to improve and equalize college students’ access to STEM programs. We analyzed a nationally representative dataset to disaggregate the influence of dual enrollment course-taking (i.e. participation, dual credits in Math/Science, number of dual credits) on students’ STEM major selection, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented students in STEM. We found that taking dual enrollment courses in general is positively associated with the probability of majoring in STEM, especially at the baccalaureate level. However, taking dual enrollment courses in Math/Science is not associated with the probability of majoring in STEM when compared with students with no dual enrollment courses in Math/Science. The relationship between dual enrollment course-taking and STEM outcomes varies across different student background groups: It is consistently positive for students of higher household income to major in STEM but not statistically significant for low-income students. We discussed practical implications and future research with a focus on the role dual enrollment plays in advancing postsecondary STEM access.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Higher Education
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Dual enrollment
  • High School Longitudinal Study
  • STEM
  • college major choice
  • sociodemographic background

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Preparing for the STEM Pathways? Dual Enrollment and College Major Choice in STEM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this