Dual enrollment is possible in your state too

According to a U.S. Department of Education Issue Paper, “the term ‘dual enrollment’ refers to an arrangement where students are enrolled in courses that count for both high school and college credit.” In his session, “The Dual Enrollment Movement: How to Meet the Challenges of this Growing Population,” Tim Dorsey, Dean of Access and Completion at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), discussed the state of Ohio’s College Credit Plus program and engaged the audience in a discussion of policies and practices at other institutions around the country.

Why is Dual Enrollment Important?

Dorsey posed the above question to the audience, and the responses reflected the diverse nature of the schools represented. Among the reasons why participants find dual enrollment to be of significance on their campus is that it:

  • fulfills a state mandate,
  • helps develop partnerships/collaboration with high schools, which brings prospective students to campus to matriculate in the future, and
  • backfills vacancies that traditional students have created.

College Credit Plus

College Credit Plus is Ohio’s mandated statewide dual enrollment program for middle and high school students that launched in the Fall of 2015. School districts cover tuition and textbook costs, and no fees are incurred by the student. According to the College Credit Plus website, the goals of the program include:

  • providing more options for students to pursue rigorous academic coursework beyond the high school classroom;
  • exploring college content and earning college credits; and
  • reducing the time and cost of attending college after high school.

In the first year of the College Credit Plus program, more than 52,000 students enrolled in a dual enrollment program (at both two- and four-year institutions), and the tuition cost savings realized by families in Ohio topped $110 million.


Despite being a successful program in terms of numbers, Tri-C faced challenges. Dorsey encouraged participants to prioritize their needs in terms of staffing, technology, and processes, and to evaluate them to simplify their operations. He also said to be realistic. It’s critical to create an operating plan with short- and long-term goals incorporated. Lastly, Dorsey emphasized the need to conduct informed conversations with faculty and staff to get their feedback. He received pushback from those he least expected. According to Dorsey, partnerships are between organizations, while relationships are between people.