On November 7, Hobsons and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) will release a new report at the AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management conference that finds institutions are embracing dual enrollment as a strategic enrollment initiative.

Dual enrollment programs are academic programs where students complete courses in high school that have been reviewed and approved for receiving college credit. While dual enrollment programs, including advanced placement courses, have been a part of the educational landscape in the United States for decades, in recent years, dual enrollment programs have expanded to include a variety of curricular offerings. Courses can be offered at the high school campus, the college campus, a community center, or online. Dual enrollment courses can be taught by a high school instructor, a college instructor, or both. They can be taught face to face or via distance learning.

The new report, “Dual Enrollment in the Context of Strategic Enrollment Management,” builds on existing Institute of Education Sciences (IES) research to explore the institution-level practices of dual enrollment in the context of strategic enrollment management. It also extends work on dual enrollment programs that Hobsons undertook this past summer with the AASA, The Superintendents Association where we explored the growing impact of dual enrollment courses in school districts around the country.

The report finds that one-quarter of participating institutions awarded at least one associate degree to high school students during the 2015-2016 academic year, an increase since 2013 when the IES study was published. We also found that more than 75 percent of respondents said dual enrollment serves as a recruiting tool, and 9 in 10 agreed that dual enrollment improves access to college courses.                                                                       

Other key findings include:

  • In addition to dual enrollment functioning as a recruiting tool, dual enrollment is helping to meet institutions’ missions and serve as a community service mechanism.
  • Fifty-eight percent of institutions discount tuition for dual enrollment, and two-thirds of those do so by more than 50 percent.
  • One in four use dual enrollment as a means to support student success and/or diversity on campus.
  • Private institutions are less likely than public institutions to accept dual enrollment credit transfer.
  • Among those that do not offer dual enrollment, institutional culture is the most cited reason for not doing so.

At the heart of dual enrollment program success is the need for collaborative partnerships. High schools must work with partners at community colleges, regional colleges, or universities that are accredited for granting college credit. This report shows that college registrars are working hard to create the environments and mechanisms to facilitate dual enrollment transfer from high schools to college program.

For more information, download the full report here.

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