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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

A PROMISING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM AFFLICTED WITH INEQUITABLE ACCESS

High school Dual Enrollment (DE) programs, which allow students to take college courses, have grown in popularity with the number of students involved doubling between 2011 and 2021. No surprise. The chance for high school students to take college courses helps ease the transition to higher education, improves academic results, and potentially leads to faster achievement of degrees and cost savings.


Unfortunately, these valuable programs, available in 82% of US high schools, confront serious equity issues and far too many have “exclusionary policies and practices,” according to an  April 2024 Community College Research Center (CCRC) policy fact sheet.



According to the brief, white students participate at twice the rate of Black and Hispanic students. The CCRC points out that dual enrollment coursework availability and access varies from high school to high school, even in the same school district, with 80% of districts having equity gaps.


The 20% of districts that do have nearly equal or higher rates of participation among Black and Hispanic students tend to:


  • Actively reach out to underserved students and communities.

  • Engage community-based organizations

  • Build awareness of opportunities at an early stage – for example, in middle school.

  • Provide more substantive college advising  

  • Link DE courses with career-connected high school programs.

  • Look at alternates to standardized testing for determining eligibility 


Earlier this year, CCRC offered ways that states and school systems can increase access in a January 2024 report titled “How States and Systems Can Support Practitioner Efforts to Strengthen Dual Enrollment”. 



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