What is dual enrollment and what are its benefits?

Dual enrollment programs emerge from strategic partnerships between high schools and institutions of higher learning. Dual enrollment allows students to take college-level courses and earn college credits while they are still in high school. This type of collaboration between colleges and high schools enhances the academic rigor of the high school experience by enabling students to explore their personal and professional interests and take their learning to the next level.

In 2008, the Community College Research Center published The Postsecondary Achievement of Participants in Dual Enrollment, a study that investigated the benefits of dual enrollment programs for the students who take advantage of this opportunity. The study found that students who participated in dual enrollment were more likely to earn a high school diploma, persist in college past the first semester, and have higher postsecondary GPAs one year after high school graduation. This study also discovered longterm correlations between dual enrollment and postsecondary achievement: students who participated in dual enrollment had higher postsecondary GPAs and earned more college credits three years after graduating from high school. Students who participate in dual enrollment have a more realistic understanding of what postsecondary education will be like because they have learned the requirements of college-level courses through experience. For even more research on dual enrollment conducted by the Community College Research Center, view the organization’s overview of its research, What We Know About Dual Enrollment.

Across the board, the benefits of dual enrollment are clear. Students who participate in dual enrollment are more likely to graduate high school with a diploma, pursue a postsecondary degree, earn higher grades in college, and receive a postsecondary degree. The Academies of Nashville are proud to offer a range of dual enrollment and dual credit opportunities to enhance our students’ learning. Our mission is to provide every student in Nashville with the best opportunity to succeed, and we believe that dual enrollment should be available to all students to encourage them to graduate high school and pursue postsecondary education.

The Academies of Nashville recognize that the cost of enrolling in college courses is a barrier for many students. For this reason, Mayor Karl Dean joined forces with Alignment Nashville and Nashville State Community College to create the One Step Ahead Fund. This scholarship covers the costs of dual enrollment courses for MNPS students thanks to support from education funding from the Tennessee Lottery and private donations from the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and the Ingram Charitable Fund.

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