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College & Workforce Readiness

Dual-Enrollment Credits and Doubts About College Readiness

By Catherine Gewertz — September 28, 2016 1 min read
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Students are flocking to dual-enrollment courses, hoping they’ll get a bigger academic challenge and maybe sock away some college credits, too. But the superintendents overseeing those programs aren’t universally convinced that earning college credit means students are ready for college.

That’s one of the findings of a new survey of school superintendents. Released this week, the survey was conducted in March by Hobsons, which makes the Naviance career-and-college exploration program, and AASA The School Superintendents Association. Its aim was to find out how superintendents are using dual-enrollment programs in their districts.

Here’s how the district leaders responded to the question of whether successful completion of a dual-credit course signifies college readiness:

Among those who answered “neutral,” some respondents made the point that while completing a course for college credit might signify intellectual readiness for college, it doesn’t necessarily mean students have the emotional maturity necessary for college, according to a 17-page executive summary of the survey.

Another section of the survey explored the challenges and barriers to implementing dual-credit programs. Many superintendents cited costs for districts, colleges, students, or families as a problem. (We explore the question of who pays for dual-credit classes in this blog post.)

But the biggest challenge was finding qualified teachers for the courses, a struggle that’s cast shadows over some programs.

The report also mentions that it can be difficult for students to transfer the dual-enrollment credits they earn to the colleges they ultimately attend, a topic we explored in a story last month.

Eighty-four percent of the superintendents reported that dual-enrollment programs were part of their strategic plans, and 95 percent reported that their districts offer the programs.

For more stories on dual-enrollment programs, see:

A version of this news article first appeared in the High School & Beyond blog.