School Dual Enrollment Grows
Colorado’s dual enrollment programs grow for seventh straight year
More than 30 percent of Colorado 11th- and 12th-graders participated in dual enrollment programs in 2015-16
DENVER – April 6, 2017: More than 30 percent of Colorado’s 11th- and 12th-graders participated in some type of dual enrollment program during the 2015-16 school year—an increase of 7.9 percent (2,806 students) in total participation over the previous year—according to the latest report released today by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and Colorado Department of Education (CDE).
Dual and Concurrent Enrollment refers to college courses students take while in high school. In 2009, Colorado passed concurrent enrollment legislation that provided a framework for school districts to enter into agreements with Colorado colleges and universities enabling students to enroll in college courses tuition-free.
Colorado is successfully using this strategy to cultivate seamless P-20 pathways aimed at boosting college credential completion in high school. Research shows students in dual enrollment programs are more likely to enroll and persist in college than their peers and less likely to need remedial education.
“We’ve long been aware of the benefits these programs offer, giving high school students an early college start and boosting college going rates. While I am pleased with the program growth, we still have too many high school students who do not have this opportunity. We must work collaboratively to change that,” said Colorado Department of Higher Education Executive Director Kim Hunter Reed.
- Statewide, 38,519 students participated in dual enrollment programs of any type in the 2015-2016 academic year. This represents more than 30 percent of all 11th- and 12th-graders in public high schools in Colorado.
- Denver Public Schools had the most students participating in Concurrent Enrollment by headcount (2,531 students), while Moffat Consolidated School District 2 had the highest percentage (80 percent) of students participating.
- The two-year institutions that served the most high school students in the 2015-16 academic year were Arapahoe Community College, with 4,403 students, followed by Front Range Community College with 4,210 students. Of the Area Technical Colleges, Pickens Technical College served the most high school students with 570 students. Of the four-year institutions offering dual enrollment programs, the University of Colorado Denver served 5,297 students primarily through their institutionally developed dual enrollment program.
- Compared to the prior year, participation in Concurrent Enrollment program participation increased among Asian students (18 percent increase), Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students (21 percent increase), Hispanic students (7 percent increase), White, non-Hispanic students (8 percent increase), and students identifying as more than one race (12 percent increase).
- Through Concurrent Enrollment or ASCENT programs, 1,491 students earned some type of postsecondary credential in 2015-16. This is a 21 percent increase over last year’s total credential completion number (1,231).
- Participation in ASCENT increased by 5 percent from the previous year, with 485 students participating statewide in 2015-16. Nearly half of students who participated in ASCENT in 2015-16 were Hispanic.
“Concurrent Enrollment has proven to be a highly effective strategy for preparing students to succeed in college and in life,” said Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “When students have the opportunity to take rigorous college courses while they are still in high school, it opens their eyes to the opportunities of a college education and empowers them to succeed when they arrive on campus.”