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What is Dual Enrollment?

Dual enrollment generally refers to the variety of ways in which students enroll in college courses while they are still in high school. Dual enrollment may be part of a structured partnership between a college and high school and may allow students to earn both high school and college credits simultaneously for passing the same course. Dual enrollment may also involve students enrolling in a college courses on their own and attending on weekends or after normal school hours.

Maryland law defines a dually enrolled student as a “student who is dually enrolled in: (1) a secondary school in the State; and (2) an institution of higher education in the State.” See Education Art. § 18-14A-01, Annotated Code of Maryland.

Analysis

This data snapshot focuses on 12th grade Maryland public school students who dually enrolled in postsecondary education during academic years 2011-2012 through 2013-2014.The snapshot includes:

  1. Statewide dual enrollment;
  2. Dual enrollment by county;
  3. Demographic characteristics of dually enrolled students;
  4. Type of postsecondary institution attended by dually enrolled students; and
  5. Postsecondary enrollment one year after high school completion.

Highlights

  1. The total number of dually enrolled students in Maryland has increased 2% between the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years.
  2. Female students are overrepresented in dual enrollment participation in comparison to the proportion of female students in the 12th grade population.
  3. Students eligible for free and reduced price meals (FARMs) are underrepresented in dual enrollment participation in comparison to the proportion of FARMS eligible students in the 12th grade population.
  4. Racial minority students and Hispanic students are also underrepresented in participation in dual enrollment, whereas White students are overrepresented.
  5. A greater proportion of dually enrolled students enrolled in postsecondary education within one academic year when compared to the proportion of students in the population of Maryland 12th grade students. However, this finding should be interpreted cautiously. A greater proportion of dually enrolled students are White, not Hispanic, Female, and not eligible for free and reduced price meals (FARMs), and students with those characteristics generally enroll in postsecondary education at higher rates than other students.

Notes

For this data snapshot, dual enrollment was determined by using high school enrollment data from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and postsecondary enrollment data from both the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and the National Student Clearinghouse(NSC). Students with overlapping enrollment dates in a Maryland public high school and a postsecondary institution were counted as being dually enrolled. A student was considered to have overlapping enrollment dates if his or her enrollment in a postsecondary institution lasted for at least 30 days and the postsecondary enrollment had any overlap with their enrollment dates in a Maryland public high school.

Using overlapping enrollment dates to determine the number of dually enrolled students relies on matching student records across sectors (i.e. high school and college). Matching student records requires complete and accurate identification information. In cases where the identification information is not complete, matching cannot occur, which may result in a small percentage of students not being counted as dually enrolled.