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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Studies Indicate Positive Outcomes for Dual Enrollment Students

At a briefing on Capitol Hill last week, experts gathered to discuss recent research on dual enrollment, a strategy that allows high school students to earn college credits.

Dual enrollment, used widely in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, allows students to experience postsecondary education while getting a head start on college coursework. Research cited by panelists at the briefing suggests that participation in dual enrollment is positively related to college enrollment and persistence, grade point average, and number of credits earned a student.

A study from the City University of New York found that CTE students who completed two or more dual enrollment courses were more likely to enroll in college full-time and earned a higher grade point average than their peers who completed just one dual enrollment course.

Research completed in Florida suggests that the classroom location of dual enrollment courses matters. Students who took dual enrollment courses on a college campus were more likely to enroll in college and attain a degree, whereas students taking dual enrollment classes on a high school campus did not show significantly improved college outcomes.

Panelists also discussed actions for states and schools to take to increase the use of dual enrollment including:

  • Eliminating restrictive eligibility requirements
  • Expanding outreach to underserved populations by providing tuition free courses for low-income students
  • Integrating dual enrollment into high school CTE pathways and programs since participation may positively impact college outcomes for these students

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

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