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Twokin Consulting: Exploring the ROI for dual enrollment

Dual-enrollment programs for high school students can have a significant impact on a student's academic and personal development. In a Community College Research Center’s February 2023 report, they report that over one million student annually participate in dual enrollment opportunities. Of this, 70 percent take courses from a community college. In these programs, high school students to enroll in college courses, which can provide a variety of benefits, including:

College credit: Earn college credit before they graduate from high school. This can help them save time and money when they enter college and can also give them a head start on their college coursework.

College readiness: Become more prepared for the academic rigor of college. By taking college-level courses, students can learn to manage their time, study effectively, and develop critical thinking skills that will be valuable in college and beyond.

Improved college outcomes: Research has shown that high school students who participate in dual-enrollment programs are more likely to enroll in and graduate from college. Participation can help students become more confident and comfortable in a college environment, which can lead to better college outcomes.

Career readiness: Become more prepared for their future careers. By taking college-level courses in a specific field, students can gain valuable knowledge and skills that will be useful in their future careers.

Personal growth: Help high school students develop important personal qualities, such as self-discipline, independence, and responsibility. Students can develop a sense of confidence and accomplishment that can be valuable throughout their lives.

Overall, dual-enrollment programs can have a significant impact on high school students, providing them with valuable academic, personal, and career benefits that can last a lifetime. While the impact for high school students is obvious, what are the benefits to college or university in providing them? Twokin Consulting sees a number of ways, including:

  • Increased enrollment: By offering dual enrollment options, colleges and universities can attract a new pool of potential students who are still in high school. This can help increase current student headcount and fill available seats in courses that might otherwise go unfilled. From Twokin consulting’s experience, many times, dual enrollment students take general education courses which often have available classroom space to support them.

  • Enhanced recruitment: Dual enrollment programs can be a valuable recruitment tool for colleges and universities. By providing high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses, a school can showcase their academic programs and facilities and help attract students to their institution. In Twokin Consulting’s experience, high school students transitioning to a school upon high school graduation is an exception rather than a norm.

  • Increased revenue: Dual enrollment programs can be a source of additional revenue for colleges and universities. High school students who participate in dual enrollment programs typically pay tuition and fees, which can help increase overall revenue. The downside to this from Twokin Consulting’s experience is that often dual enrollment programs are vastly discounted so the revenue impact is often minor. In the Community College Research Center’s February 2023 report, their analysis illustrates that dual enrollment may not be sustainable for community colleges.

  • Enhanced partnerships with high schools: Dual enrollment programs can help colleges and universities establish valuable partnerships with high schools and school districts. These partnerships can provide opportunities for faculty and staff collaboration, professional development, and shared resources.

Overall, providing dual enrollment options can be a beneficial strategy for colleges and universities to attract new students, generate additional revenue, and establish valuable partnerships with high schools and school districts. The long-term impact and ROI on the effort should be regularly evaluated.

Twokin Consulting specializes in helping supporting colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations in brainstorming strategies and ideas for improving operations.


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