"Field Notes" is a regular Connect column covering practical and philosophical issues facing admissions and registrar professionals. The columns are authored by various AACRAO members. If you have an idea for a column and would like to contribute, please send an email to the editor at email@example.com.
by Karen Reinoehl, Director of Transfer Admission, Trine University, Angola, IN
The increasing popularity of dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment has had a noteworthy impact on higher education. Dual credit courses enable high school students to earn college credit before graduation. Advantages to enrolling in a dual enrollment class include free or significantly reduced tuition rates, reduced Bachelor degree completion time and increases a successful college experience. Parents and students who are concerned with rising tuition charges and return on investment see dual credit as a way to reduce college costs. As a result, many incoming freshman have earned college credit before the start of their college career, which has transformed the profile of incoming freshman cohorts in recent years.
Increasingly, there is overlap in the type of questions and information needed by prospective high school and transfer students. Admission counselors working with traditional student populations need to be aware of the questions and concerns, such as transferability of credit, course equivalencies, articulation agreements, degree maps and degree completion that high school students now face.
The changing landscape of higher education, with respect to student recruitment, presents a unique opportunity to provide better service to dual enrollment and prospective new students. To meet the needs of these student populations, it is important to consider the common issues and concerns that create barriers to success.
Cross training dual enrollment & transfer staff
High school and first-year students are increasingly concerned with issues that were traditionally relative to transfer students. Students, families and guidance counselors are becoming more aware of the importance of pre-advising to ensure their dual credits will transfer toward their degree.
Merging transfer admission and dual enrollment can:
Assist students to understand how dual enrollment coursework fits into the curriculum of their intended major.
Help students understand how dual enrollment coursework may transfer to other institutions.
Provide pre-advising for students who intend to matriculate to your institution.
Ensure that staff stay abreast of state initiatives that may have an impact on dual enrollment and transfer initiatives.
Maintain integrity of transfer credit evaluations through established best practices.
Support students navigate through the transition to your institution.
Introducing your campus through dual enrollment
Dual enrollment staff can increase your institution’s outreach by utilizing these individuals as an extension of the admission team. High school visits provide limited opportunities for students to learn about your campus. Admission counselors have a brief amount of time, through high school or lunchroom visits, to provide prospective students with information about your institution. On the other hand, dual enrollment coordinators often meet with entire classrooms through the registration process. During their presentation about the dual enrollment program and expectations, they also have a brief opportunity to share information about the institution they represent.
Dual enrollment can support traditional market recruitment as these programs:
Offer an opportunity to highlight or preview your institution to students who normally may not sign up for your high school visit or stop by your lunchroom table. They are a captive audience!
Increase support for your traditional counselors (a.k.a. Road Warriors) by dual enrollment staff helping with college fair coverage.
Enable students to gain insight and familiarity with your institutional services including registration, advising, information technology and customer service.
Provide students with an experience of your institution.
Partnerships are essential to building a successful dual enrollment and transfer initiatives. These relationships provide a foundation that support overall institutional recruitment goals. Dual enrollment programs and transfer initiatives have the potential to expand connections with high schools and community colleges and bridge these relationships with your larger campus community.
Collaboration between dual enrollment and transfer admission responsibilities overs an overarching approach in supporting student recruitment, transition, retention and success. This model offers the potential for building new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships, both within and outside your institution.