Dual Enrollment Program Report Spotlights Trend

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An alternate educational path needing more support.

The path to college is not always a smooth or straight one for high school students. For some, their only real chance in getting to college is to bring it to them by permitting them to take college level classes while pursuing a high school diploma.

Published Report

This particular approach is appropriately called “dual enrollment” and is something SayCampusLife has been following for some time. A new report on the topic, Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for Educational Advancement of All Students, was written recently by Elisabeth Barnett at Teachers College Columbia University and Liesa Stamm at Rutgers-Camden Center for Children and Childhood Studies. That report reveals that all students can benefit from this option if offered to them.

Importantly, Barnett and Stamm say that these types of programs have shown evidence of increasing college attendance and success rates, but they are sometimes hindered by state policies that do not provide the support needed to leverage these programs.

State Support

“Education advocates and policy makers are rightly promoting dual enrollment as an effective approach to reaching multiple student achievement goals,” said Barnett. “What we found, though, is that there is a patchwork of policies that govern dual enrollment. In fact, some policies provide financial disincentives for high schools and colleges to provide dual enrollment opportunities. We need policies that promote greater access to these pathways into college for all students.”

When comparing how states approach dual education, the differences between them is a cause of concern and usually centers on eligibility requirements, quality control and funding:

Eligibility: Dual enrollment programs are often hindered by state-mandated minimum eligibility requirements that limit student access.

Quality: Only 29 states have provisions in their dual enrollment policies having to do with quality control.

Credit Transfer: Only 15 states require all public two- and four-year colleges to accept dual enrollment credits.

Funding: In some states, any interested student can participate for free; in others, students must pay tuition costs.

The report recognizes that students participating in dual enrollment programs gain the confidence and skills they need to succeed academically.

“Dual enrollment is a critical link to greater persistence and success in higher education yet there remain policies that actually make it harder, or in some cases nearly impossible for students to access such programs,” said Gordon Freedman, executive director of the Blackboard Institute.  “This should be a wake up call for educators and policymakers alike.”

You can find the full report online here: http://www.blackboardinstitute.com/pdf/Bbinstitute_DualEnrollment.pdf.

Adv. — Sallie Mae can help close the college tuition gap by offering students a financing option via their Smart Option Student Loan. Find out if this option is the right one for you!

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