Your Burning Questions about Dual Enrollment, Answered.

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Imagine graduating from high school with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. You may think it sounds too good to be true, but dual enrollment programs can make this a reality for many high school students.

Because there are no universal federal guidelines that exist to determine how dual enrollment programs are structured, there tends to be a great deal of variation between programs. So what exactly is dual enrollment?

In short, dual enrollment allows students to access college classes and achieve college credit before they graduate high school.

How exactly does dual enrollment work?  Here are some answers to the top five most frequently asked questions:


What is the difference between dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment?

Dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment are both program options that allow students to earn college credit while they are still in high school. In some states the difference between dual and concurrent enrollment lies in where a course is taught and who teaches it. For example, in Wyoming, dual enrollment courses are taught by college instructors at the college, outreach center, or online, while concurrent enrollment courses are taught at the high school by a college-approved high school teacher.


What is the difference between AP courses and dual enrollment?

Dual enrollment courses allow students to get early access to college content in college courses. AP courses are different because they only result in college credit if a student earns a particular score on an AP exam at the end of the course and if the college that the student enrolls in accepts AP scores for course credit. This means students who complete a dual enrollment program have a college transcript at the end of their experience and can enroll directly in the college where they started or transfer these courses if they move to another college or university. AP courses on the other hand result in an AP score that can be submitted to a college and the college has their own matrix to decide if the score will amount to any college credit.


How does dual enrollment relate to career pathways?

Dual enrollment programs can serve as a fast track for students toward a career pathway that aligns with college courses and curriculum. For example, a student interested in a nursing program at a community college might complete all their nursing prerequisite courses in a dual enrollment program in high school. This way, after high school graduation they are ready to immediately enroll in the nursing curriculum at the community college.


How could Education Freedom Scholarships expand access to dual enrollment?

Education Freedom Scholarships could have significant positive impacts on dual enrollment programs and the students enrolled in these courses. Education Freedom Scholarships would allow students to leverage dual enrollment opportunities that may not be available in their area or district. Additionally, Education Freedom Scholarships can assist in covering allowable educational expenses such as transportation, tools, personal protective equipment, and more.


How does dual enrollment benefit students?

Research on dual enrollment suggests that students who enroll in these courses in high school are more academically successful when they transfer schools, have an easier transition from high school to college, are less likely to need remediation, and save both time and money in earning their degrees.


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