Blogging @ CNM

Central New Mexico Community College

Let’s Talk Dual Credit

12 Comments

Do you remember being a high school student? Were you overwhelmed with all the career choices? Or did you know exactly what you wanted to do after high school and how you were going to get there?

Dual credit opens up a world of opportunity for high school students. It’s a great opportunity to experience college and to start career exploration at an earlier age. Students can take that psychology class that sounds so alluring. Or take a College Success Experience course to help them figure out what college is all about.

New Mexico legislation allows high school students to take college-level classes tuition-free while their high school’s district takes care of the textbook costs. The student who successfully completes a college-level class earns college credit and high school elective credit. It’s an opportunity for high school students to taste success and to start envisioning a future that includes a college degree or certificate. After one or two dual credit classes a student can step onto a campus as a full-time student and have the confidence to think, “Yes, I can succeed as a college student.”

We talk about how dual credit opens doors to success for high school students, but what does the data say? Research shows that Dual Credit students are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to continue on to college and more likely to graduate from college.

According to a study by UNM’s Center for Education Policy Research, students who take dual credit classes, on average, graduate from college significantly faster than those who don’t take dual credit. Students who take dual credit are also much more likely to graduate from high school, including low-income students. Low-income dual credit students graduated from high school at a rate of 86.8 percent, compared to the overall rate of 47.5 percent. Higher income students who took dual credit graduated from high school at a 98.2 percent rate, compared to 87 percent overall. Also, students who took dual credit were significantly less likely to need remedial classes in college.

Helping more high school students pursue college degrees helps us build a stronger economy for our state. And for CNM, dual credit provides an opportunity to work with students in high school and to help them continue on their path in higher education. In addition, more dual credit students lead to more students in our classrooms.

As a college, dual credit has also provided us with a way to engage our community partners, such as Albuquerque Public Schools. The state high school graduation requirements were changed starting with the class of 2013.  Now, all high school students need to complete an Advanced Placement, honors, online or dual credit class to graduate. Dual credit provides APS students a way to meet that requirement while at the same time banking college credit toward a future degree or certificate.

Dual credit also provides a chance for students to explore career paths. They could pursue an associate degree in business and then transfer to a four-year university for a bachelor’s degree. Or they could follow their passion for working with animals and start their journey to earning an associate degree in veterinary technology. Or they could pursue a career technical education field and go quickly from the college classroom to a career.

As we continue to help our high school students succeed in the classroom and provide them that opportunity to meet their high school graduation requirements, we’ll continue to look for ways to build a stronger partnership with our secondary education partners. Please share your thoughts on dual credit and contribute to the discussion.

12 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Dual Credit

  1. Way to go CNM! What a great opporunity for high school students.

  2. Great article Sydney!

    This is such an exciting time for dual credit! The possibility of a high school being on campus sounds like a positive direction for CNM. Building strong education partnerships to create opportunities for students success at every level is what it is all about!

    Jeannie Baca

    • Thanks Jeannie. I wish I would have had this opportunity when I was in HS. I think the option could really make a difference in someone’s life.

  3. As a taxpayer, I think dual credit is a great idea. As a parent, I think it is even a better idea. I’m the proud parent of two high school student who are both enolled in dual credit. It has had such a positive impact on their lives. Thanks CNM!

  4. Sydney, I have to agree that I wish this was available when I was in high school in Albuquerque in the 1980s. For example, this Summer our Montoya campus will offer a class which welcomes high school students: our StarTalk Portuguese course. Students will earn CNM credit for Portuguese 1101 in four weeks in June, and share some wonderful cultural experiences including some collaborations with UNM. What a great opportunity for students to step into the college experience while finishing the secondary studies.

  5. Hi Sydney,

    I don’t think there are many negatives to dual credit. I would like to see the different degree prgrams shown at the high schools (career fairs?) to demonstrate to the students the variety of classes they can take at CNM. Especially the CTE classes. I think this might engage those students who think that college really isn’t for them and show them that even if they don’t want to be a lawyer or business person, there is something here for them.

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