Dual enrollment provides affordable opportunities for students to earn college credit in high school and get a leg up on earning a postsecondary credential. However, in many states, the supply of qualified instructors does not meet the demand. This poses a threat to the longevity of dual enrollment and has prompted school districts and postsecondary partners to assess new staffing solutions and the accompanying educational and financial tradeoffs.
This report by Jobs for the Future and Educate Texas explores three school districts in South Texas and Denver that participated in the Early College Expansion Project (ECEP), a five-year project funded by an Investing in Innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Since joining this initiative in 2012, all three ECEP districts have seen growth in dual enrollment participation.
This report examines how each site expanded dual enrollment opportunities for their students, drawing on lessons learned to provide the following recommendations to leaders and policymakers in other states, colleges and school districts:
- Weight the costs and benefits of using high school adjuncts versus college faculty.
- Deploy qualified instructors strategically across district high schools.
- Maximize a limited supply of instructors by using innovative approaches to time.
- Expand the ranks of qualified adjuncts by subsidizing the cost of graduate education for veteran teachers.
- Design and deliver graduate courses in an accelerated format tailored to current teachers.