This report provides descriptive national data on the prevalence and characteristics of dual enrollment programs at postsecondary institutions in the United States. For this survey, dual enrollment refers to high school students earning college credits for courses taken through a postsecondary institution. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) previously collected data on dual enrollment and dual credit for the 2002–03 academic year from postsecondary institutions and high schools (Kleiner and Lewis 2005; Waits, Setzer, and Lewis 2005). To gather current data on dual enrollment and dual credit, NCES fielded an updated survey of postsecondary institutions on dual enrollment and a complementary survey of high schools on dual credit.1 The study presented in this report collected information for the 2010–11 academic year from postsecondary institutions on the enrollment of high school students in college-level courses within and outside of dual enrollment programs, and dual enrollment program characteristics.2 Respondents were provided the following definitions of these terms in the instructions section of the survey:
The survey covered the following:
NCES, part of the Institute of Education Sciences, conducted this survey in fall 2011 using the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS). PEQIS is a survey system designed to collect small amounts of issue-oriented data from a nationally representative sample of institutions with minimal burden on respondents and within a relatively short period of time. Questionnaires were mailed to approximately 1,650 public and private Title IV eligible, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.4 The unweighted survey response rate was 93 percent and the weighted response rate using the initial base weights was 94 percent. The survey weights were adjusted for questionnaire nonresponse and the data were then weighted to yield national estimates that represent all 2-year and 4-year Title IV eligible degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States. Tables of standard error estimates are provided in appendix A. Detailed information about the survey methodology is provided in appendix B, and the questionnaire can be found in appendix C.
Because the purpose of this report is to introduce new NCES data from this survey through the presentation of tables containing descriptive information, only selected findings are presented. These findings have been chosen to demonstrate the range of information available from the PEQIS dual enrollment study rather than to discuss all of the data collected; they are not meant to emphasize any particular issue. The findings are based on self-reported data from postsecondary institutions.
1 For results from the dual credit survey of high schools, see Dual Credit
and Exam-Based Courses in U.S. Public High Schools: 2010–11 (NCES
2 The 12-month 2010–11 academic year was defined for respondents as including courses during summer 2010 or summer 2011, depending upon how records were kept at their institution.
3 The following explanation of comprehensive dual enrollment programs was included in the survey: Students are generally enrolled in these comprehensive programs for one or more years. Examples include early college and middle college high schools, as well as other dual enrollment programs in which high school students took all or most of their courses.
4 Institutions participating in Title IV federal student financial aid programs (such as Pell grants or Stafford loans) are accredited by an agency or organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, have a program of more than 300 clock hours or 8 credit hours, have been in business for at least 2 years, and have a signed Program Participation Agreement with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education. Degree-granting institutions are those that offer an associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctor's, or first-professional degree (Knapp et al. 2001).