Posted by Luke Rhine, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Careers, Technology, and Adult Education
Double registration works. The Biden-Harris administration is deeply committed to using and expanding high-quality dual-enrolment programs to improve student access to rigorous coursework and equitable post-secondary opportunities. Recently, the Department of Education hosted a webinar featuring a panel of dual enrollment experts to discuss the current state of policy, practice and research, and the future of dual enrollment. This session will include an overview of the latest research and two from the High School Alliance’s recent College-in-High School Alliance publications, Research Priorities for Promoting Equitable Dual Enrollment Policies and Practices. Evidence of double registration was also included. An expert in the field said:
What is Dual Enrollment? Dual Enrollment (DE) is one of many terms used to describe programs that allow high school students to take college courses and earn both high school and college credits. But college credit isn’t the only way to access college-level classes while in high school. DE can also provide a jump start for students to learn and prepare for careers.
Why double registration? Dual enrollment is an evidence-based practice that can play a powerful role in improving student outcomes. It is also a means for students to save time and money and develop a college-attending identity with confidence in their ability to enter and succeed in higher education.
What do the studies say? On average, double enrollment has a positive impact on high school grades, high school graduation rates, college admission rates, college success rates, and college completion rates. A study of dual enrollment programs in New York City found that it improved postsecondary grades, shortened time to degree, and improved student academic performance.
why now? After the pandemic, post-secondary enrollment is declining as the need for post-secondary qualifications increases. A high school diploma alone is no longer your ticket to a good job. Experts predict that 70% of jobs will soon require some degree of post-secondary education and training.
Dual registration is widespread and growing, but it is unequal. Dual enrollment is common practice in most US high schools. About 88% of high schools offer dual enrollment, and his 34% of US students take college courses in high school. Although national data is limited, the growth of DE programs at the state level is dramatic. For example, in Indiana, his 39% of high school graduates with DE credits in 2012 increased to 60% in 2018.
When DE is properly implemented, the impact of DE improves both high school and post-secondary grades. A recent study of his CTE dual-enrolment program in North Carolina found that students are more likely than their peers to graduate from high school (more than 2% more likely) and more likely to get into college (more than 9% more likely). ). These positive effects were particularly strong for underrepresented student groups in post-secondary education, such as students of color and low-income students.
Unfortunately, this valuable strategy for success is often underutilized for historically marginalized learners. Dual enrollment is often less accessible in low-income communities and schools with a high percentage of communities of color. Even when available, students in these same communities can participate for a low fee. Without attention to developing equitable DE policies at the local and state levels, results for marginalized groups will continue to match this pattern.
said Jason Taylor, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. In short, dual registrations come in many shapes and sizes. For the research community, policy makers and practitioners, it is our job to address the dual enrollment equity gap and ensure that all students can benefit from the power of dual enrollment.
Amanda Ellis, vice president of P-20 policy and programs for the Kentucky Higher Education Council, said in places like Kentucky, where equity is a priority: , with dual credit lasts at a higher rate. It is our collective role to advance these success stories, enforce dual enrollment judiciously, and support state policy as a tool to combat systemic inequality.
Key national strategies to unlock DE potential:
- Set public goals for student participation and success, with a focus on equitable engagement by subgroups
- Support quality, oversight, and cross-disciplinary collaboration, including student voice
- Design funding mechanisms that remove financial barriers for students
- Continue to examine the effectiveness of policies to close the equity gap in dual enrollment
- Identify ways to use DE to expand academic and career-focused coursework and help connect college and career experiences with counseling
Amy Williams, Executive Director of The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, concluded the webinar by explaining what dual enrollment should look like in the future. “By focusing on program integrity, program refinement, and innovation, we are implementing best practices with a focus on equity and creating programs that truly advance students with a degree of integrity and predictability. I think I’ll be able to design it, and that’s my ideal 10-year plan.”
The Department is committed to strengthening and expanding dual registration because it knows it is a strategy that will transform lives and ultimately improve outcomes for the country’s workforce and communities. . Dual enrollment is one of the four main student-centric pillars of the Pathways initiative. We envision high school reimagined and expanded paths to success to include both general education and career-related courses. Other key pathway pillars of the Pathways initiative are job-based learning, industry qualifications, and career and college navigation support.
In the Department, the upheaval and crisis caused by the pandemic will transform the way young people transition from high school to college, through college and into rewarding careers through planned integration and alignment in secondary and post-secondary education. We believe that an urgent opportunity is now presented to us. , and work. The work we do today to build a more equitable dual-enrollment career path puts our students on the path to a brighter future.
If you would like to stay connected with Pathway’s work at the Department of Education, please email PathwaySuccess@ed.gov to be added to our mailing list.