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Advancing Dual Enrollment Equity Through State Policy


Dual enrollment is an encompassing term referring to programs that offer high school students the opportunity
to access college-level coursework. It is an intricate and complex field; most states provide students multiple program options, and those programs vary in terms of the number of courses offered, the modality and location of course delivery, the requirements for instructor qualifications and the ease of college credit transfer. Education Commission of the States’ comparison of dual enrollment programs and policies demonstrates the extent of this complexity across the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Positive Effects and Program Growth

Despite variations across programs, existing research has consistently demonstrated the positive effects of dual enrollment. These positive effects cover a wide variety of pre- and post-high school graduation student outcomes, including building early college aspirations, experiences and course credit, as well as contributing to postsecondary affordability, persistence and attainment.

In response to growing evidence of program effectiveness, states leaders have sought to create incentives for dual enrollment participation through a variety of policy initiatives. States have made financial investments to grow programs and defray student costs; provided guidance or requirements for program structure and delivery; and set reporting requirements to track program participation and success rates. These policy actions have reaped some significant results. In the last two decades, the nation has seen significant growth in student participation in dual enrollment programs, institutional engagement of high schools and colleges as program providers, and state collection of program participation data.


Source: Education Commission of the States (2023). Advancing Dual Enrollment Equity Through State Policy.