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Dual Enrollment Shows Promise to Help Close Equity Gaps

by NSC Blog | Nov 13, 2020 | K-12, Research Reports, Research Services

The pandemic has had an impact on colleges around the country, with many seeing a decline in enrollment. That’s not the case, though, for dual enrollment — the only type of enrollment at community colleges not seeing a decline according to preliminary data provided by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center and reported by EducationDIVE.

Dual enrollment allows students still in high school to take courses for credit from community colleges. It’s an option that is helpful in closing equity gaps.

The Clearinghouse launched this fall the Stay Informed research to track college enrollment trends in near real-time during the pandemic, beginning with the summer 2020 term. While undergraduate enrollment is down 4%, dual enrollment remains steady, most notably among schools with a high percentage of underrepresented students.

Based on strategies used by nine community colleges, the EducationDive article outlines strategies that colleges can use to maintain or increase dual enrollment:

  • Targeted recruiting, including information materials provided in different languages and distributed through groups, associations, and/or places of worship.
  • Working with local school districts to provide transportation for students in dual enrollment programs.
  • Expanding dual enrollment partnerships to areas with high percentages of underrepresented students.
  • Setting clear goals for dual enrollment programs.

Targeting students in high school to encourage dual enrollment shows promise to help close equity gaps.

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