Dual Enrollment: Programs Increase, Linked to Student Achievement

A recent article, Dual Enrollment: Postsecondary/Secondary Partnerships to Prepare Students, highlights the rise in high school dual enrollment programs and the positive impacts they have on student achievement. The article further states that, according to the most recent data from the 2002-2003 school year, three-quarters of high school students were participating in dual enrollments programs and that since then this number has increased. In addition, they found that dual enrollment, “…was positively related to students’ likelihood of earning a high school diploma, to college enrollment, to persistence in college and to high postsecondary grade-point average,” (Hughes, 2010).

Dual enrollment allows high school students the opportunity to take college level classes and earn college credit while enrolled in high school. While there have been ways, such as Advanced Placement (AP) classes and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, for students to earn college credit while in high school, dual enrollment programs provide students with an additional option.

Other statistics provided in the article include:

  • Fifty-seven percent of the college sample reported that they had high school students taking their courses.
  • Over the course of the 2002-2003 school year, more than 800,000 high school students nationwide enrolled in a college-credit course.

These types of programs are important to CTE because they not only allow students to get a head start on their college career or training program but they allow students to further explore career opportunities while still in high school. By supporting dual enrollment, we are encouraging communication between high schools and colleges to help to ensure that students are prepared to enter into a rigorous postsecondary environment.

In a time where our nation’s college completion rates have been declining, it is important to take steps toward change. With more emphasis on these programs, we are better preparing our students, the future of America’s workforce, to be college and career ready.


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