News and Research on Dual/Concurrent Enrollment

Dual and concurrent enrollment programs are partnerships between high schools and postsecondary institutions, through which qualified students earn college credits before graduating from high school. During the 2010-2011 school year, more than 1.2 million U.S. students took these courses, representing annual growth of over 7 percent a year since 2002.

In addition to earning low-cost college credits, students receive college-related benefits. Academic research and state data suggest that high school students in concurrent enrollment programs:

  • are more likely to meet college-readiness benchmarks;
  • achieve a lower likelihood of college placement into remedial English or math;
  • attain higher four- and six-year college completion rates; and
  • accomplish a shorter average time to bachelor’s degree completion for those completing in six years or less.

You can learn more about these programs by accessing the resources listed below. 

The Benefits of College in High School Programs (June 2021)

This is a fact sheet released by The College in High School Alliance, an umbrella organization over NACEP and others.  It contains general information about CHS programs. Read more »

Earning College Credits in High School: Options, Participation, and Outcomes for Oregon Students (March 2017)

This is a study of accelerated college credit options at public colleges in Oregon and the students who enroll in them. Oregon has many accelerated college credit options available through. Read more »

Characteristics and postsecondary pathways of students who participate in acceleration program in Minnesota (February 2017)

This study examined the 2011 cohort of Minnesota public high school graduates who participated in acceleration programs, which allow students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit for advanced coursework. Participants had better college outcomes than did nonparticipants, regardless of whether they were awarded college credit. Read more »

Dual Enrollment Courses in Kentucky: High School Students' Participation and Completion Rates (June 2016)

This descriptive research examines participation in and completion of dual enrollment courses in Kentucky after the passage state legislation increased access to postsecondary education for high school students. About 20% of 11 and 12 grade students pursued dual enrollment opportunities. Findings raise important questions for practitioners about differential course participation rates for students of different race/ethnicities, genders, and family incomes. Read more »

50-State Comparison: Dual/Concurrent Enrollment Policies (March 2016)

Education Commission of the States has researched dual/concurrent enrollment policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. Read more »

Using Dual Enrollment to Improve the Educational Outcomes of High School Students (December 2015)

A new policy brief from ACT offers key recommendations of analysis on how to effectively increase student participation and success in these programs. Read more »

Accelerating Pathways to College: The (In)Equitable Effects of Community College Dual Credit (October 2015)

Researchers examine how dual enrollment policies in Illinois have varied influences on access to college and degree completion. Positive effects were found for students, but smaller effect sizes were detected for low-income students and students of color. Recommendations include working with state policymakers and integrating psychosocial supports for underserved students. Read more »

Dual Enrollment Course Content and Instructor Quality (February 2015)

The Education Commission of the States analyzed various state dual enrollment policy for ensuring course content and instructor quality are aligned with postsecondary courses.  Read more »

The Role of Academic Motivation and Engagement on the Relationship between Dual Enrollment and Academic Performance (January 2015)

Researchers explore relationship between dual enrollment and academic performance. Findings indicate a positive direct effect of dual enrollment on first-year college GPA and that students who participate in dual enrollment are more academically motivated and engaged compared to nonparticipants. Read more »

Dual Enrollment: A Strategy to Improve College-Going and College Completion among Rural Students (June 2014)

This report from the Education Commission of the States explores how rural areas face unique challenges in providing high-quality dual enrollment partnerships and how states are rising to these challenges.  Read more »

A Guide to Launching and Expanding Dual Enrollment Programs for Historically Underserved Students in California (June 2014)

Researchers created this guide to assist and inform secondary and postsecondary partners on developing or expanding dual enrollment for underrepresented minority students. Read more »

Exploring Variation in the Impact of Dual-Credit Coursework on Postsecondary Outcomes: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Texas Students (Summer 2014)

This study investigated impact of dual-credit courses on college access, first year persistence, and college degree attainment using a statewide longitudinal data system. Results suggest dual enrollment is a promising strategy for increasing likelihood of students accessing, persisting, and completing a college degree. Read more »

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates (December 2013)

This report introduces a correlation between college completion rates and students who entered college with prior experience in college-level courses through dual enrollment opportunities while still in high school.  Read more »

The Influence of Dual Enrollment on Academic Performance and College Readiness: Differences by Socioeconomic Status  (June 2013)

What is the influence of dual enrollment on academic performance and college readiness, and does SES account for difference of impact? Researchers find that participation in dual enrollment increases first-year GPA, decreases remediation, and that low-SES students benefit from dual enrollment as much as high-SES students. Read more »

The Impact of Dual Enrollment on College Degree Attainment: Do Low-SES Students Benefit? (March 2013)

Using national longitudinal data sets, researchers find significant benefits of dual enrollment boosting rates of college degree attainment for low-income students. However, research suggests that increased dual enrollment programs could modestly reduce gaps in degree attainment. Read more »

Who Enrolls in Dual Enrollment and Other Acceleration Programs in Florida High Schools? Issues & Answers (February 2013)

This 2011 descriptive study of Florida dual enrollment and other early college credit options examines the characteristics of students pursuing dual enrollment as well as partnerships between high schools and colleges. Findings discuss student participation demographics and  administrative challenges. Read more »

"I Don't Know, I've Never Been to College!" Dual enrollment as a College Readiness Strategy (June 2012)

This chapter provides theoretical framework through which to understand the experience of dual enrollment students. Through anticipatory socialization and role rehearsal, participants “try out” the role of college student and develop the skills necessary for future postsecondary success. Read more »

Promoting Quality: State Strategies for Overseeing Dual Enrollment Programs (October 2010)

This report from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships presents six individual state-level dual enrollment policies.  Read more »

An Analysis of the Impact of High School Dual Enrollment Course Participation on Post-Secondary Academic Success, Persistence and Degree Completion (May 2008)

This study seeks to understand dual enrollment participation’s influence upon academic integration and success in college, but also possible socializing effects of participating in college equivalent courses before formal matriculation into post-secondary education. Read more »