Dual enrollment and transitions to college

Dual enrollment — definition: Enrolling in community college courses while still in high school.

Students who participate in high-quality dual enrollment programs are more likely to graduate high school, enter college, and persist in college to completion, according to national research. 



Students who are most likely to benefit are those who are most underrepresented in higher education in California: young men of color, students from low-income families, and first-generation college students. Dual enrollment is a powerful tool for equity. 

With support from the College Futures Foundation, and in collaboration with JFF, Career Ladders Project researched the landscape for dual enrollment in California. We produced recommendations for how to help more colleges, K-12 districts, and students across California reap the clear benefits of dual enrollment. CLP interviewed practitioners, researchers, and students at 48 of California’s 114 community colleges – and conducted in-depth research at six. Here are the results:

Here are resources to learn more — and start developing or enhancing dual enrollment in your community. 

Dual enrollment also provides an introduction to higher education for first-generation college students and their families, and it meets the goals of guided pathways, a national reform movement redesigning the community college experience from students’ perspective. Funded by the James Irvine Foundation and in partnership with the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College at Columbia University, CLP began working on the Concurrent Courses Initiative (CCI). *Our toolkit and webinars were generated in partnership with the California Community College Chancellor’s office and the Research and Planning Group for the California Community Colleges.