University Business October 2017 - 35

By Jodi Helmer

GETTYIMAGES.COM: EXDEZ

IS EARLY
COLLEGE
WORKING?
How higher ed can address
three common concerns
related to dual enrollment

I

n 2002, 1.2 million students were earning college credits
while still in high school. A decade later, the number of
those participating in dual enrollment courses had almost
doubled, hitting 2 million, according to the most recent federal data. And as a 2015 ACT policy brief detailed, the programs
continue growing. Colleges and universities in 47 states engage
with school district partners to offer dual enrollment programs,
in which courses are taught on college campuses, at high schools
or online.
However, with the explosive growth of dual enrollment-
also referred to as early college-have come questions about
their value.
"Neither colleges nor states have done much to look at outcomes," says Davis Jenkins, senior research scholar at the Community College Research Center at Columbia University.
A lack of data collection and analysis on the effectiveness of
specific programs is one source of criticism. Instead, anecdotal

www.universitybusiness.com

evidence has driven the belief that these programs work.
Other critiques have emerged as well, but several institutions
offering dual enrollment are working hard to ease concerns and
develop stronger programs. Here's what they're doing and what
more can be done.
Concern: High school students are not prepared for collegelevel classes.
Response: Assess readiness and provide supports.
Several states allow students to participate in dual enrollment
programs as early as ninth grade, even when the course material and pace of instruction might prove too difficult. A dozen

UBmag.me/dual

October 2017 | 35


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business October 2017

University Business October 2017 - Cover1
University Business October 2017 - Cover2
University Business October 2017 - 1
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