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3 Dual Enrollment Trends: Supporting Student Success

Dual Enrollment Trends Propelling Student Success



It is estimated that over 1 million students are participating in dual enrollment and that this number is on the rise. According to the US Department of Education blog, "On average, dual enrollment has a positive impact on high school academics, high school graduation rates, college enrollment, college success, and college completion rates."

Dual enrollment (DE) describes programs that allow high school students to take a college course and earn both high school and college credit. Dual enrollment programs offer students an opportunity to get a headstart on college coursework while also learning about and preparing for careers post-high school. Researchers estimate that 70% of careers require some form of postsecondary education so the increases in opportunities for students to complete dual enrollment coursework support their success post-graduation. How can institutions best support their dual enrollment learners? Read on for three trends we are seeing across the nation with regards to DE programs.

Trend 1 

Institutions are seeing an increase in dual enrollment learners. The number of students 17 years old or younger taking college courses increased by 11.1% across all two- and four-year institutions from spring 2021 to spring 2023. Approximately 88% of high schools offer dual enrollment, and 34% of U.S. students take college courses in high school.

Trend 2

However, dual enrollment programs are not accessible to all learners. Research consistently shows that Students of Color, low-income students, male students, lower achieving students, English language learners, students with disabilities, foster youth, and students experiencing homelessness participate in dual enrollment at lower rates than their counterparts. Schools that serve larger proportions of lower-income communities or communities of color offer fewer dual enrollment opportunities.

Trend 3

Nationally, students who transfer between institutions of higher education graduate at lower rates than students who remain enrolled at one institution. Dual enrollment programs offer an opportunity to improve transfer success as they can serve as an important on-ramp to degree completion.

How Can Institutions Respond to Support Dual Enrollment Programs & Student Success?

By setting actionable goals for their dual enrollment programs, colleges and universities can create new opportunities for students, their communities, and positively impact enrollment. Institutions should consider creating a specific goal of student participation and success, shared publicly, that centers itself on equity and access. Ensuring funding that removes financial barriers to student participation is also critical. Institutions should involve current students in the continued evaluation of dual enrollment programs. Finally, institutions should identify ways that dual enrollment can link college coursework to career exploration.

Join us on July 24 to learn how two institutions are supporting the success of their dual enrollment learners utilizing online resources.

Transforming Student Success: Empowering Institutions With Innovative Educators' Engagement Solutions

For nearly 20 years, Innovative Educators has assisted college leaders to build foundations of success for their students. Institutions have seen student engagement and retention increase as a result of utilizing Go2Orientation, OnlineLingo and StudentLingo to onboard new students. Grounded in best practices for online learning, Innovative Educators student support tools are engaging, interactive, and community-building. Go2Orientation, OnlineLingo and StudentLingo together create a powerful online resource center providing support to students throughout their academic journey.


Research Priorities for Advancing Equitable Dual Enrollment Policy and Practice
The Power of Dual Enrollment: The Equitable Expansion of College Access and Success

Like To Learn More? Schedule A Demo


By Meg Foster
Online Learning & Design Specialist - Consultant
July 5, 2023



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