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Dual Enrollment in Massachusetts 2008-2015 (December 2017 report)

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner
January 12, 2018

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) recently released a report summarizing Massachusetts data on dual enrollment: K-12 students who take courses from a postsecondary institution while still enrolled in high school. The report is provided after this memo. Here are some key findings:

  • More than 5,000 students participate in dual enrollment each year, about 7 percent of the graduating cohort and double the number from 2008.

  • Among dual-enrolling students from the 2013 high school graduation cohort, 55 percent completed one course, 17 percent completed two, 7 percent completed three, and 20 percent completed four or more. Seventy percent of participants dual-enrolled at a community college.

  • Higher achieving students were more likely to dual-enroll, but a substantial proportion of participants took coursework below the college level. Among students who dual-enrolled in math, 40 percent took a developmental (remedial) course; in English, the proportion was 17 percent. However, math and English courses accounted for less than half of all dual enrollment courses taken, and fewer than 10 percent of dual-enrollers ever took a developmental course through dual enrollment.

  • The above-average student dual-enrolling to earn college credit was the most common type of dual enroller, but other profiles existed in significant numbers. Examples included students who dual-enrolled in developmental coursework, students who deviated from the traditional four-year graduation timeline, and participants in Gateway to College, a program aimed at students at risk of dropping out of high school.

  • Dual enrollment may be a more powerful lever for getting students on track for college success than it is for accelerating time to baccalaureate degree completion among high-achievers. In particular, dual enrollment may help students with average MCAS achievement levels (1) enroll in college immediately after high school graduation and (2) earn a two-year degree, and earn it earlier.


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Duel Enrollment in MA 2008-2015 Final Report

Last Updated: January 18, 2018
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