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Number of high school students taking dual enrollment up 44 percent

This fall, 44 percent more students took dual enrollment courses than last fall, meaning more Delaware public high school students have the opportunity to earn college credits while in high school.

 

This is the third consecutive year the state has seen an impressive increase. Across the state, 33 high schools have offered classes with a combined attendance of more than 3,800 students during the fall semester. That represents an increase of about 30.7 percent from last fall, when 28 high schools saw a combined attendance of just over 2,600 students. Since Governor Jack Markell announced an initiative to increase these opportunities in his 2014 State of the State address, dual enrollment participation has increased by 3,000 students when comparing fall semesters. Spring semester data is not yet available.

 

“Increasing the number of students participating in dual enrollment ensures that our graduates leave Delaware schools more prepared than ever for college and career,” Markell said. “Students who take college courses in high school are more likely to pursue additional post-secondary education, which we know is necessary for success in nearly all occupations. This also provides a significant cost and time savings for students, who begin college with credits they otherwise would have to earn and pay for after high school graduation.”

 

Through dual enrollment courses, students receive instruction either on a college campus or from a teacher who has received special accreditation from one of the state's higher education institutions. Credit can count toward high school graduation and a college degree. Dual enrollment is different from Advanced Placement courses, which prepare students for an exam through which they can earn college credit if they receive a high enough score. Participation in AP classes also has steadily increased.

 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who complete college credit while in high school require less remediation, have higher grade point averages, and earn more credits in college.

 

Laurel School District has increased the number of its Laurel High School students participating in dual enrollment courses by 527 percent in the past year (from 11 students last fall to 69 this fall), the greatest percentage increase in the state.

 

Superintendent Shawn Larrimore said Laurel’s increase is part of the district’s vision to prepare all students for success in the 21st century.

“For the past two years, we have had a partnership with Wilmington University to offer our students English 121 and English 122; however, this year we expanded our relationship with WU and now offer Early College Academy,” he said. “Our Early College Academy program enables freshman to begin taking college courses with a cohort of their Bulldog peers. They continue in the cohort throughout their high school career at Laurel--all on our campus, taught by our teachers who become WU adjunct professors.  

“By program's end during their senior year, a Laurel Early College Academy student has the potential to graduate from Laurel High School with a year's worth of college credits or more--all highly transferrable as well,” Larrimore said.

In his 2014 State of the State address, Markell announced an initiative to ensure all high school seniors have access to a college-level class, regardless of their financial circumstances. The state has funded hundreds of students each year as part of this effort.

 
The Department of Education has worked with districts to identify college-ready students who would benefit from taking a dual enrollment course through one of the state's higher education institutions. Students can then enroll in college having accumulated credits without any financial burden, thus making college more affordable and increasing the likelihood they will graduate on time.  

 

*Data is for fall semesters of each academic year

 

 

High school

Fall 2015  # of students 

Fall 2016  # of Students

% of change # of students 

Appoquinimink

61

182

+198

Caesar Rodney

48

32

-33

Cab Calloway

56

60

+7

Cape Henlopen

213

185

-13

Christiana

0

42

 

Conrad

79

91

+15

Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security

0

26

 

Delcastle

69

48

-30

Delmar

65

93

+43

Dickinson

38

49

+28

Dover

79

110

+39

AI DuPont

107

140

+30

Early College

159

149

-6

Glasgow

2

13

+550

Hodgson

33

53

+60

Howard

13

7

-46

Indian River

38

86

+126

Lake Forest HS

250

169

-32

Laurel

11

69

+527

McKean

14

46

+228

Middletown HS

25

40

+60

Milford

41

94

+129

MOT Charter

233

264

+13

Newark Charter

 

13

 

William Penn

12

17

+41

POLYTECH

263

184

-30

Seaford

29

114

+293

Smyrna

81

130

+60

St. Georges

73

74

+1

SAAS

0

9

 

Sussex Central

15

12

-20

Sussex Tech

562

758

+34

Woodbridge

0

 

 

Total

2656

3831

+44

Alison May
alison.may@doe.k12.de.us
(302) 735-4006