College credits in high school

Earning a college degree usually requires two steps: (1) you graduate from high school, after which you (2) enroll in credit-bearing college courses.

An increasing number of high schools partner with local colleges to allow high school students to combine these steps through dual enrollment.

The dual credit system allows eligible high school students to enroll in college courses and receive credit for the courses from both the high school and the college.

Start already in high school if you want a cheaper and faster college degree!

So students who successfully take a dual credit course, or perhaps even multiple courses, may complete their college degree faster and at a lower cost than students who did not do so.

Dual credit courses can be both taught by qualified and approved instructors from a high school and by college faculty. The courses offered in a dual credit program may include both technical and academic courses.

So dual credit courses allow students to enroll in college-level course work and earn college credit while they’re still enrolled in high school. Dual credit courses may be taught on the high school campus, on the college campus, on a satellite campus, or through online delivery.

The dual credit program is for high school students in the 9th through 12th grades that meet the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements or dual credit qualification requirements set by the schools.

Usually, the students enrolled in dual credit courses are required to pay for tuition, fees, and books related to dual credit themselves, though there are colleges that reduce or waive these costs, and occasionally, their high schools may pay the costs.

What courses are offered for dual credit?

The dual credit program includes several types of courses. It could be a Career and Technical Education Course, a Core Academic Course, or a Foreign Language Course.

A core academic course is a general education course required for students looking to earn a traditional bachelor or associate degree in Texas.

Core academic dual credit earned at a Texas public higher education institution is transferable to all Texas public universities and colleges and can be applied to any AA (Associate of Arts), AS (Associate of Science), or bachelor’s degree.

A career and technical education dual credit course awards credit applicable to a certificate course or an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree program that prepares students directly for employment.

Students that successfully completed dual credit courses in this category graduate high school with specific career-related and/or technical skills and knowledge. They may also qualify for industry certification in their preferred careers. Usually, these courses will not transfer toward a four-year degree. Unless leading toward a Level-1 certificate, these courses need to meet TSI requirements.

Dual credit foreign language courses allow eligible students to earn college-level credit that transfers to Texas public colleges and universities. Credit may be applied to any AA (Associate of Arts), AS (Associate of Science), or a bachelor’s degree.

Benefits of dual credit courses

  • Taking dual credit courses allow for a more smooth transition from high school to college
  • Students get used to college-level course work while still attending high school
  • Students can transfer credits earned while in high school to any Texas public college or university
  • Taking dual credit college courses allows them to complete a college degree much faster and save lots of money on tuition costs and fees. There are so many Texas students who are already faced with too much student debt!

It is not possible for high school students to earn credit for any college course they want by entering the dual credit program. It is up to the educational institutions that set up a dual credit partnership to approve undergraduate core course inventory or decide on which career and technical courses of the institutions are available for dual credit.

High school students may take as many dual credit courses as they like, such, of course, to be approved by their high school and the college. The credit is both awarded by the students’ high schools and the colleges.

The colleges are responsible for the dual course materials and they award the college credit when the students have successfully completed the dual credit courses. Check here for a full listing of community colleges operating in the Texas College System.

The high schools are responsible for determining the students’ high school credit awarded upon successful completion. Usually, the high schools and colleges are working closely together to decide on what high school credit should be awarded when the students successfully complete the course.

Last Updated on September 12, 2020