Dual enrollment

Dual enrollment

In education, dual enrollment (DE) involved students being enrolled in two separate, academically related institutions. It may also refer to any individual who is participating in two related programs, but such a general form of usage is uncommon.

Students enrolled in secondary school (called high school in the United States) may be dual enrolled at a local institution of higher learning, such as a community college or university. These students may take classes at either institution for credit toward their high school diploma, as well as for college credit. Many state governments within the United States have recognized the benefit of dual enrollment and have consequently instructed their public universities to begin collaborating with local schools. Some private universities also participate.

Dual enrollment in both secondary school and college is advantageous to students because it allows them to get a head start on their college careers. In some cases, the student may even be able to attain an Associate of Arts or equivalent degree shortly before or after their high school graduation. Furthermore, it may ease the transition from high school to college.

In addition, dual enrollment is seen by parents as a money saving strategy that avoids skyrocketing tuition costs because courses are often paid for and taken through the local high school. State government officials also see dual enrollment as a net savings due to the lower value of funds spent earlier, as opposed to those spent later. Public school costs are also lower than they would be at postsecondary institutions.

One form of dual enrollment is concurrent enrollment. Concurrent enrollment is defined as credit hours earned when a high school student is taking a college course for both high school and college credit, during the high school day, on the high school campus, taught by a qualified high school instructor. One of the first such Concurrent Enrollment programs is Syracuse University Project Advance. Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) serves as a model and resource for many subsequent colleges as they develop their own concurrent enrollment programs. (also see Concurrent enrollment)

SUPAis a founding member of The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) which is a professional organization for college and high school partnerships offering college courses in high schools. Formally established in 1999 in response to the dramatic increase in concurrent enrollment courses throughout the country, NACEP serves as a national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment programs and supports members by providing standards of excellence, opportunities to network and share best practices, and access to information about research and national trends in dual and concurrent enrollment. NACEP standards for accreditation have been recognized as models for quality control and have been adopted or adapted by many states.

An example of a High School that offers dual enrollment is Grand Canyon Preparatory Academy in Arizona.

There is much discussion concerning possible downsides of dual enrollment. These include a lack of adequate student preparation for these courses and - even Freshman - taking college-level courses at their local high schools and out-of-field teacher qualification problems for those high school teachers given preference for teaching DE or AP classes. Debate continues, as educational policy experts watch how DE cohorts perform after high school graduation in terms of degree completion and persistence rates, especially minority students.

The expansion of postsecondary education downward into the high schools, as opposed to upward expansion by adding more and more advanced degrees, is seen by some as an example of credential inflation, since it, too, extends the length of time students typically spend pursuing degrees. In addition, it is felt that such educational expansion undermines the separation between secondary and postsecondary education which took one-hundred years to put in place in the US.

In college

Colleges may join together in leagues to allow their students to take courses at all of the member universities. These leagues, such as Five Colleges (Massachusetts), Seven Sisters (Northeast), or Five Colleges of Ohio, allow students to benefit from the collective knowledge of all of the participating institutions. In general, there is no increase in tuition to participate in collegiate dual enrollment programs.

Within colleges, programs that coordinate the curriculum of dual major students are sometimes called dual enrollment programs. These programs allow the student to reap the benefits from both departments without having to take overlapping and unnecessary courses. Most universities have some degree of interdepartmental dual enrollment coordination.

List of dual enrollment programs

Program name Associated university Location
Accelerated College Entrance Program California State University, Sacramento Sacramento, California
Florida Atlantic University High School Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
IUPUI SPAN Division - Early College Entrance Programs Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Indianapolis, Indiana
Early College Academy South Louisiana Community College Lafayette, Louisiana
Boston University Academy Boston University Boston, Massachusetts
Early College Alliance Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
Bard High School Early College Bard College New York, New York
Middle College National Consortium Middle College High School Long Island City, New York
The Ohio State Academy The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science University of North Texas Denton, Texas
Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities Lamar University Beaumont, Texas
Challenge Early College High School Houston Community College System Houston, Texas
Early College Program Central Virginia Community College Lynchburg, VA & surrounding counties
Running Start Any community college in Washington State Washington

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