Dual Credit Programs - Getting Started Toolkit
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Best Practices & Research

Strategies and Interventions for Increasing Success in Dual Credit Courses


  • Having good attendance is key to ensuring success in dual credit courses.
  • Addressing attendance problems, which are often a symptom of larger problems, is a crucial strategy for increasing students’ potential for success in advanced coursework.
    See OSPIs Attendance webpage for more information and resources.

Family or Relationships

  • Students coming from homes in which they experience trauma, abuse, or neglect, or from parents who have had negative school experiences may need additional supports to be successful in college-level coursework.
  • Parental expectations may not always match a student’s academic interests and/or skill level, and students may need additional support in how to handle this.
    • Important considerations for any student include academic preparation, interest/relevance of course and connection to High School and Beyond Plan.
  • Cultural expectations
    • Will the student miss class to attend cultural events or care for family members?
    • Does the student have other responsibilities, like maintaining a job?
    • Does the family support the student’s post-high school goals?
    • Students may need help problem-solving situations like those listed in the questions above.

Student Engagement

  • Ensuring a positive transition from Middle to High School is a key strategy to increasing more students’ readiness for advanced coursework and dual credit later in high school.
    See OSPIs 9th Grade on Track webpage for more information and resources.
  • Students often need to feel that instruction is relevant to their lives or goals and may need help developing a High School and Beyond Plan that has meaning to them.
    See OSPIs High School and Beyond Plan webpage for more information and resources.

Research and Related Reports

Advanced Placement

College in the High School
Early College High Schools: Model Policy Components by Jennifer Zinth; Education Commission of the States

  • Research suggests early college high school participants are significantly more likely than other disadvantaged students to graduate high school, enroll in college immediately after high school and earn a degree.

CTE Dual Credit
US Dept. of Ed. 2017 Report “Connecting Secondary Career and Technical Education Students and Apprenticeship Programs

  • Five of the eight programs profiled in this report, including Washington’s own Puget Sound Skills Center Construction Center for Excellence, describe CTE-based programs where both college and high school credit are offered. Education Week “Should Schools Test the ‘Career’ Half of ‘College and Career’?” by Sarah Sparks, July 10, 2017 edition (link to document)

Dual Credit and College/Career Readiness


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Dual Credit

   Updated 3/13/2018

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