Decreasing withdrawals within the dual enrollment student population at Southwestern Community College: the role of advising

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amanda Crisley Everhart (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Needham Yancey Gulley

Abstract: In selecting an area within education to focus on for my disquisition, I chose to focus on dual enrollment programs. Dual enrollment, a nationwide program allowing high school students to take college classes, prepares high school students to plan and organize postsecondary goals such as obtaining a degree from a two or four-year higher education institution. Preparation comes from earning college credit by taking classes related to the student’s major of choice. For the context of this disquisition, I narrowed the focus to the service region of Southwestern Community College in the western mountains of North Carolina (Appalachia). In North Carolina, high school students can take college courses tuition-free. This makes dual enrollment particularly beneficial to students in the Appalachia region because most people in this area live below the poverty line and have a lower rate of obtaining degrees beyond the high school diploma (Lawrence & King, 2018). Through dual enrollment, students can earn certificates in fields such as business, automotive, and emergency medical science. This allows them to go straight into the workforce upon high school graduation (Cowan, 2017). Students can also receive credit toward two and four-year degree programs. This means less course work to pay for when the student graduates from high school and attends an institution of higher education for the purpose of obtaining a degree (Daley, 2017). The tuition-free component makes dual enrollment undeniably advantageous. However, students are not always fully educated by college staff on how to best use this opportunity which creates long- and short-term difficulties for dual enrollment students later on. A particular issue creating problems has been students being withdrawn from a college course or courses. In my experience, often when a dual enrollment student receives a withdrawal, the student does not fully understand what withdrawing means or that withdrawing has consequences attached, such as the withdrawal being recorded as an “F” on the high school transcript (Smith, 2018). After reviewing the problems I saw as a dual enrollment coordinator, working with students facing the aftermath of their withdrawals, I wanted to create a system that helped students better understand the consequences associated with being withdrawn. My goal was to lower withdrawal rates and alleviate repercussions from withdrawals by proposing an intervention that sought to introduce an advising component to the dual enrollment student population at Southwestern. This was my attempt to remedy a problem of practice and help students get more out of their dual enrollment experience.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Career and College Promise, Career Exploration, College Advising, Dual Enrollment, Early College, High School Student Development
Community colleges -- School enrollment
Southwestern Community College
Dual enrollment
Educational counseling -- North Carolina, Western
Counseling in higher education

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