Dual Enrollment

Advancing STEM Opportunities

Dual Enrollment There is growing interest in the creation of dual enrollment programs in which high school students are able to enroll concurrently in college classes. The interest in these efforts are of particular interest in science for addressing the representation gap of minority students. Of concern in particular is not only the recruitment of students of color in STEM programs, but also of retention of their interest that translates to entering, continuing, completing the programs, and graduating from college. In Minorities in science and math: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education, J.V. Clark reported that the lack of preparation in mathematics and science among underrepresented minority groups in the early elementary grades undermines enrollment and success in secondary school programs and, ultimately, in college and career choices later in life.

To address the representation gap in the sciences, a partnership of institutions implemented two different early college/dual enrollment courses for high school students as part of a larger project. Two projects, a partnership of institutions implemented two different early college/dual enrollment courses for high school students as part of a larger project. One program was a concurrent (in-school) enrollment program, and the other was a summer residential program. Each program ran for five years, and all of them successfully prepared students for college STEM. Many students entered STEM programs in college, and 80 percent of them are still there today.

The Minority Student Pipeline Math and Science Partnership (MSP)2, with a grant from the National Science Foundation, was a program that that included participation by several colleges and a large Maryland school district. The program was designed for students and teachers in one of the nation's largest counties where the majority of students are minorities and was developed to increase the number of underrepresented students in degree and career programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The project included professional development for teachers in fourth grade through high school, challenging college-level science coursework for high-school students, and teaching opportunities for undergraduate students.

The Minority Student Pipeline Math and Science Partnership included a program to offer about 400 students of Prince George's County, Maryland, the opportunity to become immersed in science. The two colleges, Prince George's Community College (PGCC) and Bowie State College (BSU) worked with the county public school system to develop early college/dual enrollment science courses for approximately 400 high school students. Through the project two programs were developed.

74 High school students who enrolled in The Summer Residential Program on the BSU campus for three consecutive summers took supplemental courses and tutoring in math and college skills along with college-credit eligible courses in biology and chemistry completed in program.

The second was a Concurrent Enrollment Program in which science faculty teachers from PGCC went high schools during the school year and taught college eligible credit courses, including environmental biology and forensic biology.

Upon the completion of the programs, students in both were officially admitted to the respective college, received college credit for successful completion of the course, and received full tuition support from the larger (MSP)2 project. Altogether, BSU and PGCC awarded more than 3,000 college credit hours in science to 381 students while they were still in high school.

After graduating from high school nearly half of the students entered college and more that half were STEM majors. 80 percent of our dual enrollment students remained in STEM for over one year and/or are still in STEM today. These outcomes were the same regardless of which of our two dual enrollment programs the students had completed.

References: David May, Christine Barrow, Michelle Klein, and Felicia Martin Latief, Dual Enrollment in Science: Paving the Way for College STEM Degrees, League for Innovation in the Community College, November, 2016 (https://www.league.org/)
J. V. Clark,(1999). Minorities in science and math. ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education