Research Says…

“One of the concerns that college faculty expressed to me when we were starting dual-credit classes is that we will not get those students to take our classes on campus. Experience has shown that the opposite is true. Some of the dual-credit students realize that the quality of their classes is high and may enroll for one or more years at the same community college where they took dual-credit courses. The parochial school in Northern Illinois that we worked with increased enrollment of its graduates from thirteen to fourteen freshmen a year to forty to forty-five at the college. The stigma of enrolling in a community college rather than a university often disappears or is of minimal concern once the college proves itself through the continued success of the dual-credit students,” p. 37.

Andrews, H. A. (2000). Lessons Learned from Current State and National Dual-CreditPrograms. New Directions For Community Colleges2000(111), 31.



Do high school students who take dual credit courses succeed when they go on to college?

An array of evidence says that dual credit students do succeed:

* Dual credit students have a higher college participation rate than high school graduates overall. Of Oregon’s dual credit seniors in 2007‐08, 81.4% continued to some form of postsecondary education by the following winter, compared to 72.6% of Oregon’s high school graduating class of 2005, the last year statewide participation rates were available.

* Dual credit students who go on to college continue to the second year at a higher rate than freshmen who enter college without having earned dual credit. Within the cohort of freshmen who entered OUS in fall 2008, 87.0% of those who took dual credit in 2007‐08 continued to the second year of college, compared to 79.9% of those who did not. The correlation between dual credit enrollment and freshman persistence exists even after controlling for academic strength and other predictive influences on student advancement.

* Among freshmen who continue to the second year of college, dual credit participants earn a higher first‐ year GPA. For the population of freshmen entering OUS in 2008‐09 and returning the following year, those who took high school dual credit in 2007‐08 completed the first year of college with an average GPA of 3.13, compared to 2.97 for those who did not take dual credit.

* Students who continue to the second year of college accumulate more college credit if they take dual credit in high school. In 2008‐09, among freshmen new to OUS who returned the following year, dual credit and non‐dual credit students alike completed an average of 44 credits. But dual credit students amassed far more cumulative credit. By the start of the second fall, they had accumulated 61.3 college credits, more by almost a full term’s worth than the 49.8 credits accumulated by their classmates who took no dual credit in high school.

Dual Credit in Oregon 2010 Follow Up




Other Key Dual Enrollment Research can be found HERE.

Definition of Terms

Here’s a link to the Early College Designs FAQ.  It will give you a bigger vision of how folks around the country are designing work.

Here’s a cheat sheet of some terms:

Concurrent Enrollment:  Students take college coursework at their high school that counts for transcripted college credit AND high school graduation requirements.

PSEO (Post-secondary Educational Options):  High school students take college coursework at the college that will count for transcripted college coursework AND high school graduation requirements.

Early College:  A cohesive plan for a full associate’s degree while students are currently enrolled in high school.

Middle College:  A cohesive plan for certificate or diploma while students are currently enrolled in high school.

What’s Happening in Concurrent Enrollment Around the State

In Spring 2013, Minnesota Department of Education funded particular high schools across the state to explore college readiness and concurrent enrollment partnerships with MnSCU campuses.  This grant VPSC (Voluntary Public School Choice) provided technical support to high schools to explore systems that enable their students to be prepared for college and to determine if a concurrent enrollment partnership would be beneficial.

Partner Colleges include:


St Paul College


Hennepin Tech

Leech Lake Tribal College

Lake Superior College

Minneapolis Community & Technical College

St Cloud State College

Southwest State College (pending)

Bemidji State (online tech program)

These colleges are partnering to various degrees, from articulation agreements for CTE courses, to enhancing concurrent enrollment opportunities in the high schools by adding varying numbers of courses that align with the transfer curriculum, to adding enough courses to complete the transfer curriculum.   The big focus in all the partnerships is to identify students who are not on track to be successful in college level coursework and provide better preparation, while also enhancing concurrent enrollment opportunities, and collaborating between high school and college faculty to articulate academic preparation.

Alexandria and Central Lakes Colleges have also been involved in this type of effort for a number of years and continue to enhance their programs.

St. Paul College & Inver Hills Community Colleges:  Constructing earlier pathways in STEM for high school students.  Read more here.

The Numbers for Families

Current NACEP Accredited Programs in MN

Check out the current graduation rates by race and ethnicity in Minneapolis.  How can our work support better outcomes?

Some Articles on Dual/Concurrent Enrollment

What’s happening in the state?  

Irondale High School in partnership with Anoka Ramsey Community College.

In addition to Irondale High School, the Minnesota Department of Education has been providing funding grants for high schools to start strict evaluation of their academic programs to see if an early or middle college model could work.  Across the state, there were 15 high schools that were identified and community colleges were suggested as a partner.

Here are a few research articles to guide our thinking.  Please be aware that we are not entertaining the model of hosting a high school on our campus.  While these models have found great success (ala La Guardia Middle College), our space and current desires do not align with that particular vision.  The current vision is to roll out a strategic dual enrollment model in a Career and Technical field (Education) as a separate program in a high school.

This research and personal perspectives also identifies some obstacles that we can learn from and identify new strategies moving forward.

Early College and Dual Enrollment Challenges

Out of the Mouth of Babes:  Early College High School Students’ Transformational Learning Experiences

Double Dipping for College Credit

The College Promise

Here are a few websites that are devoted to the Early College design:

Early College Designs:  Particularly check out the FAQ and Publications.

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships:  In particular, please take a look at the standards that would govern concurrent enrollment partnerships.   In order for this program to get off the ground, MCTC and the high school would need to be credentialed according to this body.