Chapter 2: Promote Dual Enrollment Programs

Many educators would agree that for many students, the senior year in high school is a waste. Certainly there are numerous bright and ambitious high school students capable of doing college level work while in high school—sometimes in the junior or even sophomore year.  Students who earn a good deal of college credit in high school can sometimes reduce their college baccalaureate years to three—saving nearly 25 percent in direct costs and, just as importantly, giving an additional year of productive full-time labor.

Examples of dual enrollment programs include:

  • Advanced Placement(AP)—High school courses and examinations that provide colleges with good information on prior student knowledge; already growing substantially, its further growth should be encourage.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)—A college board program that offers credit in over 30 subjects; 2,900 colleges now accept at least some CLEP credit, but the program needs more publicity and support.
  • On-line Education—A variety of on-line providers offer credit to high school students and even cater to that clientele, but this credit also needs to be made available to college students.
  • Dual Enrollment Programs—Some states offer high school students the opportunity to get dual high school/college credit for courses taken at colleges while in high school; the establishment and expansion of such programs should be encouraged.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)—The International Baccalaureate is viewed as offering a superior and challenging version of the traditional curriculum; many colleges give partial credit for students from IB schools.

The key is to incentivize students, and schools must encourage alternative ways of obtaining college credit. Since colleges are reluctant to reduce the tuition revenues they receive per student, legislative mandates may be required in some cases to force the acceptance credit for programs like AP, although this would obviously raise serious issues about political interference and institutional autonomy.

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