Taking College Classes in High School Can Lead to More College Success

Schools and parents across the country are looking for new ways to promote student success, and they are paying close attention to how students’ accomplishments in high school affect their chances for success once they reach college. For many students, taking college classes while still in high school is the key to more college success.

The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center wanted to know how dual enrollment affected student success. They found 17-year-olds who took a dual enrollment class in 2010 and tracked them for six years as they made their way through college. They found that 59 percent of the dual-enrollment students across the country who entered a four-year university earned a bachelor’s degree after five years.

There are several reasons why this is true for many students.

  1. Dual-enrollment classes let students get a taste for what the college learning experience is like with a more readily available support system.
  2. Students get a jump-start on college while still in high school, which means they are at an advantage when they graduate because they are able to transition right into college courses that pertain to the career they want to pursue. This helps them to be more engaged, and engaged students are less likely to drop out.
  3. Students are able to start small. They can take one course and get a feel for how to integrate them into a busy schedule. Time management is a key component to college success for students.
  4. It costs less. This puts students on a path to success for two reasons. First, they don’t have to take out as much money in student loans, which not only helps to relieve financial stress while they are in school, but also helps to relieve financial stress post graduation. Second, low-income students will be less likely to drop out of school because of the financial strain, giving them a chance at a better future.
  5. Students who earn college credits before they get to college spend less time in school. This means students are less likely to drop out, and it even opens the possibility for a student to take an extra course or two that could help them to be a step ahead of their peers when they graduate.

According to the National Student Clearing House, only 60.5% of students who attend a public university actually graduate. Dual enrollment not only primes students for a better chance at success while in college, it also helps to remove many of the barriers that might keep them from graduating.

If you’re interested in taking dual enrollment courses through TEL Library, visit our courses page to see our offerings.

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