This study suggests that career-focused dual enrollment programs—in which high school students take college courses for credit—can benefit underachieving students and those underrepresented in higher education. The study found that California students who participated in dual enrollment as part of their high school career pathway were more likely than similar students in their districts to graduate from high school, enroll in four-year colleges, and persist in college. They also accumulated more college credits and were less likely to take remedial classes.
The three-year study, funded by The James Irvine Foundation, examined the outcomes of almost 3,000 students participating in eight dual enrollment programs across California. Sixty percent of participants were students of color, forty percent came from non-English speaking homes, and one third had parents with no prior college experience.
This report has a companion technical report, "Bridging College and Careers: Using Dual Enrollment to Enhance Career and Technical Education Pathways (An NCPR Working Paper)," released by the National Center for Postsecondary Research.