ward a high school diploma so that high school graduation is not delayed. These programs enable students to attend nearby colleges, sometimes at reduced tuition rates. State departments of education and/or local school boards certify the majority of dual-enrollment programs. In most cases, students attend the college as full-time students and use the college credits obtained to meet high school graduation requirements. At least 38 states have formal dual-enrollment agreements between public high schools and community colleges (Reisberg, 1998), and according to data gathered by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (Russell, 1998), the phenomenon shows no signs of abating. Tech Prep,4 2+2,5 and middle-college high school6 programs are usually built around dual-enrollment agreements. Yet a recent report published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (Johnstone and Del Genio, 2001) finds fault with a number of these dual-enrollment arrangements, including those between 2-year colleges and high schools.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent-enrollment programs allow high school students to take courses at local colleges or universities for credit while still in high school. One key difference between college courses taught in high school and concurrent enrollment is that students in the latter programs enroll in courses either taught by college faculty at the college’s campus or delivered to the high school site by the college, whether through visits by faculty or electronically. In some cases, school districts cover a portion of the tuition costs, especially if they are unable to meet the educational needs of particular


Tech Prep is a nationwide career development system that provides a high school student with a planned program of study that incorporates academic and career-related courses articulated between the secondary and postsecondary levels. The program leads to a diploma, degree, or 2-year apprenticeship certificate. All partners (secondary, postsecondary, and private sector) develop a Tech Prep program cooperatively. The program may also articulate from a community college to a 4-year baccalaureate degree. The program most typically provides technical preparation in a career field such as engineering; technology; applied science; a mechanical, industrial, or practical art or trade; agriculture; health occupations; business; or applied economics.


2+2 programs allow students to complete 2 years of a vocational program in high school and the second 2 years at a community college.


Students at middle-college high schools usually take high school and college courses on a community college campus. The programs began as a means to serve capable but unsuccessful students. Their purpose is to serve as a transition between high school and college for at-risk youth.

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