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Report: How to Improve Equity in Dual Enrollment

October 5, 2020

A new report from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College at Columbia University and the Aspen Institute identifies five principles to improve equity in dual-enrollment programs.

In dual-enrollment programs, high school students take college courses for credit before they graduate. These students are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college and complete their degrees, according to the report. Minority and low-income students tend to be left out, though. They generally have less access to dual-enrollment programs, and they aren't as likely to succeed as their white or more affluent peers when they do.

The center examined nine programs in Florida, Ohio and Washington State to see how they have narrowed equity gaps for Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Pacific Islander students. Researchers found five principles that drove the success of these programs:

  • Shared goals that make student success a priority and clearly state why all stakeholders are committed to equity.
  • Expansion of access by removing barriers like tuition and fees, transportation costs, and placement test requirements.
  • Quality advising to help students understand the pathways to reach their goals.
  • Training so faculty understand how to teach students not yet in college, or so high school teachers understand to raise expectations.
  • Meaningful partnerships between leaders and staff at the high school, district and college that encourages people to work together toward equity.

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Madeline St. Amour

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