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Dual enrollment are often ‘programs of privilege,’ report says

Dual enrollment are often ‘programs of privilege,’ report says


Emma Gallegos
October 10, 2023
Nationally, white students are overrepresented in dual enrollment programs, while English learners, students with disabilities, American Indian, Black, Hispanic, multiracial, and Pacific Islander students are underrepresented relative to their enrollment.
High schools and colleges typically offer a “laissez-faire” approach to dual enrollment, which means that high school students will randomly pepper their schedule with college courses with little focus on a college or career plan. This approach tends to favor more privileged students.
“We’ve heard over and over again that dual enrollment [programs] are too often programs of privilege,” said John Fink, a co-author of the report and a senior research associate for the CCRC, told Education Week.
But dual enrollment shows promise in guiding underrepresented students to completing college. The report outlines the best practices for reaching these students, which it calls dual enrollment equity pathways (DEEP). These practices include outreach to underserved students, alignment to college and career, early academic and career advising and high-quality college instruction and academic support. A related report looks to successful models in Texas and Florida.
The report echoes what EdSource has found in California, where Black, Latino and Native American students are underrepresented in most dual enrollment programs. California Community Colleges Chancellor Sonya Christian has called for every ninth grade in the state to be enrolled in a dual enrollment course.
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