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CTE Policy Watch

600,000 Students Pursuing Dual Credit CTE



March 20, 2013

By: Ann Ultsch

Recently, the National Center for Education Statistics released findings from a study on dual enrollment in public high schools. The study, Dual Credit and Exam-Based Courses in U.S. Public High Schools: 2010-11, looked at a myriad of different criteria, including:

  • Whether the high school reported any established requirements that students must meet in order to enroll in dual credit courses, and if so, the types of requirements
  • Whether students at the high school level earned certificates, associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees from a postsecondary institution during the school year by taking dual credit courses
  • Whether students were awarded postsecondary credit immediately upon completion of courses, or whether students were offered  "credit in escrow," in which they must enroll in a specific postsecondary institution after high school graduation in order to receive credit

The study found that:

  • High schools reported approximately 2 million enrollments in dual credit courses and about 3.5 million enrollments in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in 2010-2011
  • About half of all high schools reported that students took dual credit courses with a CTE focus
  • High schools reported 601,500 enrollments for dual credit courses with a CTE focus
  • About one third of all high schools stated that students took dual credit CTE courses on site at their secondary school
  • 93 percent of schools with enrollments in CTE dual credit courses stated that students were awarded postsecondary credit immediately upon completion of courses


As you know, dual credit opportunities are just one way that CTE fosters student engagement and achievement!

Ann Ultsch is an intern with the ACTE Public Policy Department and a student at Wittenberg University in Ohio studying political science and English.


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