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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Dual-credit students do better in college

College students who took at least one college course in high school were more likely to earn a four-year degree than similar students who didn’t participate in dual-enrollment programs, concludes an Illinois study. The effect was strongest for those who started at community colleges.

Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy in Los Angeles Unified offers an array of dual-credit courses. Photo: Fermin Leal/EdSource Today

Dual enrollment courses could make a real difference in helping students complete a degree, writes Amber Northern. But she worries about quality control. “Are dual enrollment courses sufficiently rigorous and taught by qualified instructors?”

Dual enrollment is expanding quickly, reports Jodi Helmer in University Business. But there’s not much evidence on its effectiveness, says Jason Taylor, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Utah.

Tracking data on student success and degree completion is imperative as institutions expand dual enrollment programs (once limited to high-achieving students) to middle-achieving and low-income students, Taylor says.

Increasingly, “dual” courses are taught by high school teachers, not by college instructors. That raises concerns about rigor.

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