During my presentation last week at the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) 2011 national conference, I identified the 13 key pieces of state policy that, adopted as a whole, can greatly enhance student access and quality of dual enrollment programs.
Right now the national picture on state-level dual enrollment policies is mixed--while all but 4 states have legislation or other statewide policies governing dual enrollment programs, it is not clear that any state has "checked the box" on all of the 13 components of dual enrollment policy (a related policy brief will be on the ECS Web site soon). Meanwhile, state and national student participation data suggest that not all students capable of succeeding in a dual enrollment environment are getting into these courses. According to NCES data, just under 7 out of 10 public high schools in 2007-08 had dual enrollment for high school and college credit. I have a hard time believing that in the remaining 30% of public high schools, there isn't a single student who is not motivated or academically advanced enough to succeed in a dual enrollment course.
It could be that many of these 30% of public high schools without dual enrollment opportunities are rural high schools, where high school staff have limited opportunities for collaboration with postsecondary faculty for the offering of dual enrollment courses. If so, that creates all the more imperative for the development of high-quality online dual enrollment programs--North Carolina's Learn and Earn Online is just one model for states to consider. Every high school in the state is eligible to participate, and there is no cost to the student or the student's family. Courses may be accessed during the regular school day or after school, and during the regular school year or, in the case of NC Community College System courses, during the summer break.