Acceleration Under Review
As more high school students enroll in programs that award college credit, policymakers are asking questions about quality.
For years, only a handful of the highest achievers graduated from high school with college courses on their transcripts. But as states strive to blur the line between high school graduation requirements and college expectations, such dual-enrollment courses are quickly becoming part of a broader strategy to help more students become college-ready.
Over the past decade, much of the attention to dual enrollment has focused on expansion and funding. Some individual programs—and increasingly, states—are working, however, to ensure that quality goes along with the proliferation. They want courses that are challenging enough to warrant college credit and that can effectively prepare students for higher education.
“It’s a real struggle. How do you expand access without diluting quality?” said Melinda Mechur Karp, a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center, based at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. “There’s some growing pains as [dual-enrollment options] go from small-scale to much more prominent...
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