Texas has been a leader in funding and designing high school students who take college courses.
The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) announces the release of a new report, Promoting Quality: State Strategies for Overseeing Dual Enrollment Programs, which documents the strategies that six states employ to ensure that college courses offered to high school students are of the same high quality and rigor as courses offered to matriculated college students. The report also highlights the main approaches used by these states to encourage colleges and universities to align their dual enrollment programs with state and national quality standards.
Across the country, legislative and policy changes have led to rapid expansion of dual enrollment programs in recent years – providing high school students the opportunity to take college classes in order to simultaneously earn both high school and college credit. This report will help states identify ways to ensure the quality of these courses, a necessary factor to achieving states’ goals to raise the rigor of the high school experience, increase access to college for students who are underrepresented in higher education, reduce the amount of remedial college coursework, and increase college completion rates.
While twenty-nine states have adopted quality standards for post-secondary providers of dual enrollment, few have developed systems to encourage and monitor colleges’ progress toward meeting those standards. Up until now, state policymakers have had limited information on practices in other states when designing or redesigning dual enrollment oversight systems.
“This report has proved invaluable in developing Indiana’s policy for reviewing dual credit programs,” remarked Catisha Coates, Special Projects Coordinator at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. “Learning from other states has saved us time and strengthened our approach,” added her colleague Ken Sauer, Senior Associate Commissioner for Research and Academic Affairs.
Case studies included in the report describe strategies utilized by state agencies in Florida, Illinois, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia. These agencies employ seven main strategies for overseeing dual enrollment programs: program approval, periodic program reviews, student outcome analysis, regular collegial meetings, course approvals, review of district/college agreements, and annual reporting.
“Utah’s collaborative approach to developing quality concurrent enrollment programs is a model for other states to follow,” said Ted Ungricht, NACEP President and Director of Concurrent Enrollment at Utah Valley University. “With NACEP’s quality standards as the roadmap, the state has created an environment where faculty, administrators, and curriculum experts from post-secondary institutions, school districts, and the state collaborate to create a seamless education system for students.”
“As we strive to enhance the college-level learning opportunities for secondary students in Kentucky, this publication is a valuable resource in learning from the experiences of other states,” said Nicole McDonald, System Director for Transfer and Retention at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
The research and writing of Promoting Quality: State Strategies for Overseeing Dual Enrollment Programs was conducted by NACEP’s Executive Secretary Adam I. Lowe and funded by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. The full report can be found online at: