Hughes, Katherine

Dr. Hughes is the former Assistant Director for Work and Education Reform Research at the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

Dual Enrollment Not Just for High Achievers Early College Improves Outcomes for Disadvantaged Students Too

By Katherine L. Hughes
Columbia University

Dual enrollment—in which high school students take college courses for credit—was once considered the exclusive province of college-bound high school students seeking more challenging classes. However, a new study from the Community College Research Center that I authored has found that dual enrollment can offer tangible benefits for students who are historically underrepresented in higher education.
The three-year study looked at eight career-focused dual enrollment programs across California and found that participating students demonstrated improved performance on a range of high school and college outcomes. Sixty percent of participants were students of color, forty percent came from non-English speaking homes, and at least one third had parents with no prior college experience.