Dual Credit

Just what is “Concurrent Enrollment” and “Dual Credit”?

Concurrent enrollment programs like Concordia University Nebraska’s Dual Credit program provide high school students the opportunity to take college-credit bearing courses taught by college-approved high school teachers at the student’s own high school.  Students who successfully complete the course receive both high school and college credit for their work in the course.

Concurrent enrollment is a low-cost, scalable model for bringing accelerated courses to students in urban, suburban and rural high schools.  Students gain exposure to the academic challenges of college while in their supportive high school environment, earning transcripted college credit at the time they successfully pass the course.

Concurrent enrollment also facilitates close collaboration between high school teachers and college faculty that fosters alignment of secondary and postsecondary curriculum.

Sometimes called “dual credit,” “dual enrollment,” “concurrent enrollment” or “college in the high school,” concurrent enrollment partnerships differ from other models of dual enrollment because high school instructors teach the college courses.

How does Dual Credit differ from other types of accelerated course work?

Although concurrent enrollment programs share some elements or characteristics of other accelerated programs, concurrent enrollment courses like those offered in the Concordia Dual Credit program differ in significant ways from other models of accelerated courses for high school students.

Concordia Dual Credit students:

  • DO NOT need to travel to the college campus, nor do college professors travel to the high school. Courses are taught at the high school by teachers from the high school. Dual Credit teachers have academic credentials that qualify them to serve as adjunct professors for the college.
  • DO NOT take the class from a college instructor via distance education. The Dual Credit teacher meets with students on a regular class schedule during the school day. Dual Credit teachers are available for additional assistance in the same way that they are available to help all of their high school students.
  • DO NOT receive retroactively assigned credit for high school coursework upon matriculation at the university. Dual Credit courses are actual credit-bearing college courses. Students earn transcripted credit at the time they successfully complete the course.
  • DO NOT rely upon a single high-stakes, high-stress standardized exam to determine the level of success the student. Students earn a college grade based on multiple and varied assessments throughout the course.

Does Dual Credit make a difference?

In addition to the direct benefit of receiving college-level credit for the work they are completing as part of their high school studies, recent research conducted by the Nebraska Department of Education demonstrates that even when controlling for factors which may cause a student to be in an accelerated course, “being dually enrolled significantly increases college-going oddscetris paribus.*” (other factors being equal).

The research continues, “As is the case with dual enrollment being the treatment condition, it is seen that earning dual credit increases the odds of college-going. Even after controlling for variations among other demographic attributes, the odds of college-going for high school students who earned dual credit is significantly larger than for those who did not earn dual credit.

In light of the aforementioned findings, it is proposed that efforts should be focused on encouraging schools to introduce advanced coursework and encouraging students to enroll for them. Moreover, among the students already enrolled for coursework that is eligible for earning dual credit, they should be encouraged to do so.

You can check the original study published by the Nebraska Department of Education by clicking here.

In partial compliance with Rule 1030.30(3)(12) by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, students from Illinois with a complaint about Concordia University’s Dual Credit Program are encouraged to contact the Board.  Additional information is included under the tab “Policies and Practice”