Dual enrollment's influence on the socialization of students as future college students: a grounded theory study
Frost, Leanne Hadley
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This qualitative grounded theory study explored how the dual enrollment (DE) experience influenced the socialization of students to become future college students at a small, rural two-year college. The researcher interviewed 40 students within one year of completing DE courses through the college. The population included students who passed and did not pass their DE courses, enrolled in college and did not enroll in college, and who had completed their DE coursework in one or more of three delivery modes: concurrently in the high school, online from the college, and on the college campus. The study found the DE experience did affect participants' socialization as future college students, largely due to their interactions with teachers, other students, and the environment. In addition, their ability to complete college-level coursework affected their self-efficacy. The students viewed DE as a 'transition' to college and recognized it was not 'the full college experience.' They also identified increased autonomy as part of becoming a college student. Differences among the three delivery modes existed, with the online format having the smallest effect on students' socialization. This grounded theory study followed a constructivist approach; therefore, the resultant theory has been influenced by the interpretations of the researcher.