Teachers College, Columbia University

From Random Acts to Dual Enrollment Equity Pathways

Date and Time: October 26, 2021 2:00–2:45 PM
Location: Orland, FL
Venue: Hilton Orland Buena Vista | International Center

As a mechanism for expanding access to college and career opportunity, dual enrollment (DE) programs hold great promise. However, they are underutilized and national research on access to DE shows  racial equity gaps. As such, it is not surprising that DE is sometimes considered a "program of privilege" or "random acts of DE."

Despite this reputation for exclusivity, nearly 1 in 5 districts have closed these equity gaps. And, the Dual Enrollment Playbook (Aspen Institute & CCRC, 2020) illustrated that the design, policies, and practices of DE programs can produce more equitable access and college outcomes for students of color. CCRC is studying how colleges and their K-12 partners are working to better utilize DE programming to expand college access and success for underserved students. Drawing on the findings from the Playbook and our research tracking implementation of guided pathways reforms at 120 community colleges nationally, we observe an emerging approach that we call Dual Enrollment Equity Pathways (DEEP), where community colleges partner with K-12 schools to: a) reach out to underserved students and families to recruit into DE; b) align DE course offerings to college workforce and bachelor's programs in high-opportunity fields; c) assist with career and academic exploration, advising, and planning; and d) deliver high-quality college instruction that builds students' confidence as college learners. We have launched a new line of research that seeks to understand what these ideas look like in practice across different local contexts; what incentives, disincentives, and costs exist; and what data are needed to evaluate their impact and track improvements over time. During this conference session, the majority of time was reserved for a facilitated discussion among attendees to engage these ideas and share insights and examples from their work.

Associated Papers


Senior Research Associate
Community College Research Center
Abbey Ivey
Florida Student Success Center