Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Higher Education

First Advisor

Ryan Evely Gildersleeve, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Judy M. Kiyama, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Christine Nelson, Ph.D.


Attainment, Low socio economic, Concurrent enrollment program


A gap in college degree attainment is growing in the United States as college tuition and fees have drastically increased creating many barriers for students in low socio economic status (SES) families. These barriers are just the beginning in the many hurdles low SES students face in entering a college pathway and persisting to completing certificates or bachelor’s degrees. The state of Colorado has addressed this equity gap in higher education by creating a state wide initiative they have called Colorado Rises. This initiative is centered on increasing college completion statewide to 66% by 2025. In order to achieve this goal many initiatives have been created. One such initiative that was passed into law was the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act (CEPA). This law allows for Title I funding to be allotted for qualifying high school students to enroll in college courses simultaneously during their high school tenure. A more common term is used in the High School system as Duel Enrollment or DE. Both are the same program with different names.

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) is a multi-campus community college based in the Rocky Mountains. The campus located in Edwards, Colorado has one of the largest CEPA programs in its system and also in the state of Colorado. The CMC in Edwards has created streamlined processes to utilize high school teachers that are credentialed through their higher education accrediting body in order to supplant college faculty into the high school schedule. This along with using CMC faculty to supplement the offerings to expand options for students has allowed for a rapid increase in enrollment. This program evaluation is modeled from the Utilization Focused Evaluation method to improve upon the CEPA program at CMC in helping low SES students’ aspirations, completion and transfer rates.

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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