International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Examining the Effects of High School Dual Credit Programs
Melissa Arrambide, Ed.D, Clarence Williams, Ed.D, Pam Winn, Ed.D

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) defines dual credit as a system in which an eligible high school student enrolls in college course(s) and receives course credit for both college and high school (Texas Education Agency, 2020). Dual Credit courses are often taught on high school campuses by an approved instructor or a professor of the cooperating college campus and can include both academic and technical courses. Most institutions of higher education require the high school teachers to have a master’s degree and 18 credit hours in the content area to be eligible to teach a college level course. When dual-enrollment programs first started, the primary recipients of the benefits were high-achieving students, hand-picked by high school faculty and administrators for the programs. However, studies reveal that students who are not as academically inclined may experience similar benefits as other students (Chen, 2013). In contrast, professors of higher education report concern that students are potentially missing career opportunities. Students entering colleges and universities with many credit hours may be forced to quickly determine a major; less time at the university could mean less time to explore career options with other experts in the various fields (Jaschik, 2018). Other considerations include, understanding of financial implications, course transfer requirements, decreased rigor of dual credit courses, and preparedness for state high school exams. With increasing popularity among high school dual credit programs, educators of both the K-12 sector and higher education need to be mindful of the positive benefits as well as potential pitfalls for our students.

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