Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment

Hughes, Katherine Lee; Rodríguez, Olga; Edwards, Linsey; Belfield, Clive

A three-year study tracking outcomes for thousands of students across California shows that career focused dual enrollment programs can provide important benefits for those who are underachieving and underrepresented in higher education. Programs of this type, which allow high school students to take college courses and earn college credit, were once offered almost exclusively to high-achieving students seeking greater academic challenge. The Concurrent Courses initiative was launched in 2008 and began to provide support to eight secondary-postsecondary partnerships in California to develop, enhance and expand dual enrollment programs with a career focus to engage students in relevant learning. Very soon after, new programs were providing structured early college experiences — college credit courses on the college or high school campus — to students who had not had them before. At the same time, existing programs expanded their offerings and were purposefully tailoring them to students underrepresented in higher education. In all, 10 colleges and 21 high schools participated in the initiative, which ultimately touched thousands of students. Among student participants, 60 percent were students of color and 40 percent came from non-English speaking homes. The James Irvine Foundation funded the Concurrent Courses initiative to advance the goal of its Youth program: to increase the number of low-income youth in California who complete high school on time and attain a postsecondary credential by age 25.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
April 2, 2014