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Understanding Access to and Participation in Dual Enrollment by Locale and Income Level

Region:
Central
Description:

By providing students with an opportunity to take college courses and earn college credits while in high school, dual enrollment programs effectively increase college access, enrollment, and degree attainment. Such programs might be particularly beneficial for high school students who might be less likely to go to college, including students from rural areas and low-income households. Given the comparatively rural geography of the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Central region, stakeholders need a comprehensive resource for understanding dual enrollment access and participation in their states in order to support the identification of strategies to expand opportunities for college and career preparation. This report presents information on patterns in dual enrollment access and participation for the 2017/18 school year in the REL Central states (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) and the region as a whole and compares these state and regional patterns with national patterns. The report also reveals how dual enrollment access and participation varied with school characteristics, including school locale (city, suburban, town, or rural) and percentage of students from low-income households. The study found that dual enrollment access and participation were higher in the REL Central region than nationally. Additionally, students in rural and city locales tended to have lower dual enrollment access than did their peers in town and suburban locales. In contrast, dual enrollment participation was generally higher for students in rural and town locales than for their peers in city locales. In some states, however, both dual enrollment access and participation were higher in rural and town schools than in city schools. The study also found that in the REL Central region and nationally, schools serving higher percentages of students from low-income households had higher dual enrollment access and participation than did schools serving lower percentages of students from low-income households. Education leaders can use the study findings to advance progress toward state and district postsecondary readiness goals and to inform the development of supports or incentives related to dual enrollment.

Publication Type:
Descriptive Study
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
May 2021