History and Dual/Concurrent Enrollment:Issues and Opportunities
Alex Lichtenstein, Indiana University Bloomington
Adam Lowe, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships
Brenda J. Santos, Achievement First
Eric G. Tenbus, University of Central Missouri
In 2013, President Obama outlined a series of proposals to increase higher education access, to promote accountability and to expand reporting on student learning. One of the programs he highlighted was dual enrollment in which high school students earn college credits while completing college level classes at their schools. These programs are known as dual or concurrent enrollment. Some institutions have had such programs for over forty years while others are seeking to establish them. Many colleges and universities have partnered with multiple schools registering thousands of high school students each year for college history credits.
The university-produced literature promotes the programs claiming benefits for multiple stakeholders. For the students, the programs offer a challenging curriculum, more individualized instruction that a college class, and experience with college-level instruction. Additional benefits appeal to parents such as the lower cost of dual credit classes from as low as $75 at public institutions to $500 at private, and the ability to transfer credits shorten the years to completion of a college degree. The DE program websites also assert that teachers gain certain benefits such as developing professional relationships with the faculty and having access to the university libraries. Many institutions offer college credit in local high schools, and some large state institutions also have DE programs in high schools in surrounding states.
At the national level, the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) offers accreditation to institutions with dual or concurrent enrollment, but many institutions that offer DE are not accredited. As of school year 2015-16, there are 97 concurrent enrollment programs accredited by NACEP. The NACEP underscores that the classes must be as rigorous as those at sponsoring college campuses, and that these classes offer a seamless transition between high school and college. The standards recommend that the classes are the same academic quality and caliber as those offered on-campus, and that all instructors meet the same academic requirements of instructors as the partnering institution. Further requirements include that the high schools follow similar assessment and pedagogical approaches, and that the departments offer ongoing professional development to the teachers. However, many professors familiar with DE have found that these standards are frequently not followed for a host of reasons.
The purpose of this roundtable is to inform the AHA membership about concurrent enrollment and some of its implications. On this panel, representatives from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and educators with experience administering and/or teaching in concurrent enrollment will discuss some of the problems with concurrent enrollment, the implications for the profession and majors, and best practices for such programs. The roundtable will also address how department chairs and administrators should respond to the growing demands for concurrent enrollment.