College Success and Early Postsecondary Opportunities
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The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the effects of various EPSOs and college success. Data were gathered from 175 students from a private university in Northeast Tennessee. The 175 students were the freshman cohort from the 2018-2019 school year. 116 students had Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs) while 59 students did not. The following data for each student were collected: fall 2018 GPA, spring 2019 GPA, fall 2018 retention, 2018-2019 school year retention, number of EPSOs, type of EPSOs, and first grade within five course clusters. The course clusters examined were Arts & Humanities, Human, Public, & Social Sciences, Business & Industry, Language, and STEM. The results suggest that as the number of Early Postsecondary Opportunities increase, first and second-semester GPA tend to increase, and student continuation of college after the first year. Course cluster examination yielded findings that suggest students with EPSO credit score a higher first grade in the Arts & Humanities and STEM clusters and students with Advanced Placement credit score a higher first grade in the Arts & Humanities and Human, Public, & Social Science course cluster compared to those with dual enrollment credit. Recommendations for further study include examination of types of EPSO credits beyond Advanced Placement and dual enrollment, a study to compare college success in students that passed the Advanced Placement exam to receive credit and those who did not, and a study to allow students to provide feedback on Advanced Placement courses versus dual enrollment courses.