Evaluation of Career and College Promise

The Evaluation of Career and College Promise (CCP) is a five-year practitioner-researcher partnership looking at the impact, implementation and cost of North Carolina’s dual enrollment program. The project also has the goal of building agencies’ capacities to use data and research to improve CCP.

Members of the Parnership

SERVE at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is the prime awardee with Dr. Julie Edmunds serving as Principal Investigator.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has key responsibility for the implementation of CCP. Ms. Sneha Shah-Coltrane, Director of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education, is co-Principal Investigator.

The North Carolina Community College System also has key responsibility for CCP. Dr. Kimberly Gold, Chief of Staff to the President, is co-Principal Investigator. 

RAND Corporation is a key research partner. Dr. Christine Mulhern is co-Principal Investigator. 

About Career and College Promise

Career and College Promise (CCP) is North Carolina’s dual enrollment program, providing high school students throughout the state the opportunity to enroll in college courses without paying tuition. The program is authorized and funded by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Students can choose from three main dual enrollment pathways:

  • The College Transfer Pathway provides students the opportunity to take college credit courses that lead to an associate degree or meet the general education requirements at a four-year university.
  • Under the Career and Technical Education Pathway, students take college courses that lead to a technical credential or a career-focused major.
  • The Cooperative Innovative High School Pathway (known elsewhere as early colleges) are specialized schools that partner with postsecondary institutions and give students the opportunity to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate degree or two years of transferable college credit.

For more information about CCP, visit:



Impact Study Methodology

The study team has created a dataset that links K-12 data from NCDPI with data from the community college system and the University of North Carolina System. The impact study’s analyses methods differ based on the pathway.

To examine the impact of the College Transfer and CTE Pathways, the team is using a quasi-experimental design in which outcomes for participating 11th and 12th graders are compared to a group of non-participating students who are weighted so that they look the same as the participating students.  The sample includes seven cohorts of approximately 600,000 students. The impacts of the College Transfer pathway are also being explored using a regression discontinuity design that takes advantage of the fact that students are expected to have minimum GPA in order to participate.

The impact of the CIHS pathway is being examined in two different ways. First, to look at all the CIHS in the state, the team is using a similar approach to the other two pathways where 9th graders who are enrolled in a CIHS are compared to non-participating students. Second, we are continuing an existing longitudinal study in which the sample is approximately 4,000 students who applied to 19 early colleges and then went through a lottery to determine whether they were accepted or not. The study compares the results from those who were randomly selected to attend and those who were not randomly selected to attend. Click here for more detail about the experimental early college study.

Implementation Study Methodology

The goal of the implementation study is to describe participation and success in CCP, identify student and school factors associated with participation and success, and describe what implementation looks like.

To examine participation and explore some student and school-level factors associated with participation, we use the administrative data from the K-12 and community college systems.

We have conducted two rounds of site visits to a range of schools and conducted interviews with students, and school, district, and college staff. These site visits allow us to explore issues in more depth.

Finally, we are able to utilize survey data from a legislatively mandated study to explore other implementation factors.

Cost Study Methodology

<p>The cost study is using two different approaches. First, we are using the <a href=”https://ies.ed.gov/seer/pdf/IES_Cost_Analysis_Starter_Kit_V1.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>ingredients method</a> to determine the costs of the three different pathways. We are collecting data from a sample of districts about the resources that are necessary to implement the pathways and are assigning dollar values to those resources.</p>
<p>Second, we are using administrative expenditure data to determine the extent to which estimates coming from these data can replicate the estimates we are getting from the more detailed ingredients methods.  </p>
<p>We are also conducting cost-benefit analyses, linking the cost data to the results from the impact study. </p>
<p><em>Acknowledgment at bottom of page:</em> This project is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education through Grant R305H190036 to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The products on this website are the opinions of the authors and do not represent the perspectives of the Department, the University, NCDPI, the NC Community College System, or RAND Corporation.</p>

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