On March 5th, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) published a new report on dual enrollment programs. The report, Dual Enrollment Programs and Courses for High School Students at Postsecondary Institutions: 2010–11, provides descriptive data on the prevalence and focus of dual enrollment courses. The data was gathered through a national survey of high schools and postsecondary institutions.
According to the report, 53% of Title-IV degree granting institutions reported high school students taking courses for college credit either through a dual enrollment program or outside of one. This represents a small decrease from the 57% of institutions that reported students taking courses for college credit during the 2002-03 school year. In total, 1,413,500 students took courses for college credit. This represents 9.55% of the 14.8 million students who were enrolled in grades 9-12 in 2010-11, according to the NCES’ Common Core of Data.
Recent research has contributed to a body of evidence suggesting that dual enrollment can help bridge the gap between high school and college. Research from the National Center for Postsecondary Research found that students who participated in dual enrollment were 12% more likely to go to college and 7% more likely to graduate. However, these gains were only seen in dual enrollment classes offered on college campuses. The report did not look at the impact of online courses, which account for a growing number of dual enrollment classes. For the 2010-11 school year, 48% of dual enrollment classes were through “distance learning” compared to less than 12% in 2002-03.
In the 2002-03 survey, online courses were grouped with all other non-campus locations such as community centers. These other categories together made up 12% of dual enrollment classes.