Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Dual Enrollment Should Be ‘Invested in and Expanded’

October 25, 2016 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The article “Are Dual-Enrollment Programs Being Oversold?” (Sept. 7, 2016) raises valid concerns about credit transfer from one institution of higher education to another, but misses the larger benefits of dual-enrollment programs and what we know makes them transformative for students.

Dual enrollment has expandeddramatically in recent years, and appropriate quality control is necessary. However, the difficulties in transferring credits between institutions are not limited to dual-enrollment courses. Even in states with established transfer agreements, college department chairs can deny credit toward a major, and agreements don’t necessarily cross state lines. Indeed, private colleges have discretion over which courses they accept at all. This is an issue with credits coming from any college, early or not.

Despite these issues with credits, we know what elements do work within the field of dual enrollment: structured courses of study leading to a degree or credential; robust student-support services, including counseling to help students navigate issues such as credit transfer; professors who have higher education credentials and experience and the training to teach younger students; and strong coordination between secondary and postsecondary partners.

Early-college high schools have these qualities, and numerous studies, including a randomized-control-trial evaluation conducted by the American Institutes for Research, have found significant increases in college enrollment and completion among early-college students.

That is the real promise and benefit of these models—the increased number of students, particularly from low-income families, enrolling in college and finishing their studies with a degree or credential on time or early—in addition to increased engagement in high school and increased affordability of college degrees when credits do transfer.

Credit transfer is certainly an issue, but it is an issue that must be addressed across higher education. It is not a reason to discredit or shy away from dual enrollment. Rather, dual-enrollment programs that follow proven practices, like early-college high schools, should be invested in and expanded.

Baird was formerly the vice president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Clara Haskell Botstein

Associate Vice President

Bard Early Colleges

New York, N.Y.

Rob Baird

Independent Education Consultant

Philadelphia, Pa.

A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2016 edition of Education Week as Dual Enrollment Should Be ‘Invested in and Expanded’

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Working Smarter, Not Harder with Data
There is a new paradigm shift in K-12 education. Technology and data have leapt forward, advancing in ways that allow educators to better support students while also maximizing their most precious resource – time. The
Content provided by PowerSchool
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read