Mixed Bag: Dual Enrollment Policy in New England

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Dual enrollment programs across the country share little in common with one another. Generally, they allow secondary students to take postsecondary courses while enrolled in high school. But the relevant terminology, eligibility requirements and transferability of credit varies nationally and here in in New England, where:

  • Four of the six New England states’ dual enrollment programs are managed by a community college or university system, rather than by a statewide agency,
  • Transferable postsecondary credit is not guaranteed for most students enrolled in dual enrollment programs,
  • The funding mechanism for dual enrollment is different in every state, and
  • There is little consistency on policy governing course or instructor quality.

For the past 15 years, dual enrollment programs have been viewed as a high priority policy to tackle college readiness, affordability and time to degrees. Yet, opaque or confusing guidelines can make it difficult for students to apply their credits to degrees or can even leave some groups of students behind.

This NEBHE Policy Spotlight presents a regional overview of dual enrollment policies and programs. In addition, state-by-state program summaries illuminate policy gaps and areas ripe for improvement in New England.

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