Dual Enrollment: A Strategy to Improve College-Going and College Completion Among Rural Students

Dual enrollment helps facilitate the transition to postsecondary education by allowing students to earn college credits in high school. Several states either have statewide transfer agreements, support dual enrollment policies, or encourage local school districts to establish partnerships with regional institutions of higher education that enable students to participate in dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is also a core component of many Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, ensuring students can progress easily along a career pathway that culminates in a postsecondary degree or credential. Yet in rural states, securing qualified dual enrollment instructors, covering program costs and addressing program logistics is particularly challenging. 

This policy brief from the Education Commission of the States explores strategies for expanding access to dual enrollment opportunities in rural states and communities. The brief explores examples from Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Wyoming and New Mexico and describes innovative opportunities — such as forming public-private partnerships, enabling flexibility in dual credit instruction policy, and partnering with tribal colleges — that enable more students to participate in dual enrollment.
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June 2014