Teachers College, Columbia University

The Dual Enrollment Playbook: A Guide to Equitable Acceleration for Students

By Gelsey Mehl, Joshua Wyner, Elisabeth A. Barnett, John Fink & Davis Jenkins
The Dual Enrollment Playbook: A Guide to Equitable Acceleration for Students

More than a million high school students across the nation participate in dual enrollment each year. Dual enrollment students are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and complete college degrees. But students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and low-income backgrounds do not have equitable access to or success in dual enrollment. This playbook examines nine dual enrollment programs in Florida, Ohio, and Washington that have narrowed or closed equity gaps in dual enrollment for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander students.

These programs—developed by partnerships between high schools and community colleges—show that it is possible to close equity gaps when intentional strategy is paired with innovation and commitment. The playbook identifies five principles and the supporting strategies and practices through which community colleges and K-12 leaders can advance equity in high-quality dual enrollment:

  1. Set a shared vision and goals that prioritize equity.
  2. Expand equitable access.
  3. Provide advising and supports that ensure equitable student outcomes.
  4. Provide high-quality instruction that builds students’ competence and confidence.
  5. Organize teams and develop relationships to maximize potential.