dual enrollment

6 ways dual enrollment helps institutions and students

Aside from being a key recruitment tool, dual enrollment is considered beneficial in helping advance students' educational goals and career aspirations.

Dual enrollment has emerged as a critical component of institutions’ enrollment initiatives, with 75 percent of colleges and universities saying it serves as a recruitment tool.

From 2002 to 2011, dual enrollment increased 75 percent among institutions, and 90 percent of institutions agreed that it improves access to college courses, according to a report from The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and Hobsons.

The new report, “Dual Enrollment in the Context of Strategic Enrollment Management,” builds on existing Institute of Education Sciences (IES) research to reveal the institution-level practices of dual enrollment as it pertains to strategic enrollment management and benefits to students and institutions.

Policymakers and education leaders have adopted new policies to broaden college course access and establish common K-12 state standards. That growth is reflected in the survey–78 percent of institutions reported offering dual enrollment options during the 2015-2016 academic year, and 86 percent accepted dual enrollment credit for transfer.

Forty-seven states, plus the District of Columbia, have common state-wide dual enrollment policies with guidelines for access, qualifications, funding, and related issues, according to report data citing the Education Commission of the States. Of these, 10 states require “all public high schools and eligible public postsecondary institutions to provide dual enrollment,” and 28 states plus the District of Columbia “allow nonpublic, proprietary or tribal colleges, or approved workforce training providers to participate in dual enrollment programs.” Three states–New York, New Hampshire and Alaska–leave policies up to local districts and postsecondary institutions.

The report found that one-quarter of participating institutions awarded at least one associate’s degree to high school students during the 2015-2016 academic year, an increase since 2013 when the IES study was published.

Its benefits include:

1. Discounted tuition–fifty-eight percent of institutions discount tuition for dual enrollment, and two-thirds of those do so by more than 50 percent
2. Supporting student success and/or diversity on campus–one in four use dual enrollment for this purpose
3. Reducing the likelihood of students needing to enroll in remedial courses once they enter college
4. Promoting relationships between colleges and high schools
5. Providing a college course experience to traditionally underserved populations
6. Increasing the rigor of career and technical programs, thereby better preparing students for the workforce

The report also offers 10 examples of how various institutions use dual enrollment.

Laura Ascione