Posted by ICON School on Nov 14, 2019 4:28:46 PM

counselor and student sitting at desk discussing education - education concept with notebooks and paperworkDo you have students who are determined, dedicated, and looking for ways to get ahead in their educational careers? Are you looking for solutions that would help students who aren't reaching their full potential through traditional schooling methods? Dual-enrollment through ICON School could be just the answer you need!

Idaho Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment allows high school students to take required courses for graduation and college courses for credit at the same time. It is one of many options for a unique educational path, but it varies from other advanced opportunities in a few key ways. 

For example, "dual-enrollment" classes are often taught at colleges and by college professors, while "concurrent enrollment" classes (though similar) are taught at high schools by high school teachers. Dual enrollment is also different from AP classes because students get college credits for passing dual-enrollment classes. They only get those credits from AP classes if their future college chooses to accept end-of-year AP exam scores. (Learn more about Idaho's requirements and programs for advanced opportunities here.) 

From a student's perspective, perhaps the most crucial detail is this: dual-enrollment classes allow them to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree.

Which students benefit most?

Dual enrollment, while a great opportunity, might not be for everyone. It is generally best suited to students who want to go above and beyond in their educational careers and who are looking to fast-track their path to college or a career. Since the classes are college-level, they are more rigorous than what students might be familiar with--but dual enrollment comes with many options for support, structure, and encouragement that can make the transition smoother.

What classes are available?

There are all kinds of options for dual enrollment classes, depending on the institution you partner with. Some of the subjects covered are science, economics, foreign languages, history, and specialized topics like web design. What makes these classes so efficient is that they are required for degrees in almost every discipline, which means that a student can benefit even if they don't yet know exactly what they'd like to major in.

How Does Dual Enrollment Help?

For students who want to get ahead in their educational careers or for those who are looking for non-traditional educational experiences, dual enrollment can be invaluable. 

Not only do dual-credit classes help students adapt to college life, but they also prepare students for future careers by helping them navigate prerequisites that line up with specific programs or four-year degrees. Students also have to spend less time and money in earning their associate's degree--which, in turn, opens up new opportunities for future learning (and earning). Essentially, dual-credit classes help students get ahead by catering to and rewarding their determination in academic pursuits, allowing them to create, plan, and pursue goals as unique as they are.

Finding a Partner

Dual enrollment, while an excellent option for students with all kinds of different goals and needs, can seem challenging to navigate at first. That is why it's best to partner with an accredited school to plan and register for dual-credit classes. A partnership like this has benefits for you and your students.

For guidance counselors, this partnership helps by:

  • providing all the necessary information and paperwork
  • helping you transition students from high school to college
  • keeping students on track toward their goals
  • suggesting solutions that meet each student's unique needs

Students, too, can benefit. A few advantages are:

  • specialized education plans that help students choose and meet their own goals
  • support for different learning styles
  • assistance with transferring credits
  • help in creating paths for education and future careers


What are the Benefits of Dual Enrollment?

Research tells us that dual enrollment has positive outcomes for students, including college enrollment and the persistent pursuit of a college degree, increased credit accumulation, and higher GPAs.  According to a study done in Florida by the Community College Research Center, students in dual enrollment programs versus non-dual enrollment students saw statistically more significant increases in:

  • Postsecondary enrollment after high school (67%)
  • Pursuing Bachelor's degrees (35%)
  • Persistence to go a second term (82%)
  • and persistence to go a second year (76%) 

Another benefit of dual enrollment is that it provides students with the opportunity to graduate early. Across the nation, fewer than 3% of students graduate high school early, according to USA Today. 

Getting Started

So, now that you know what dual enrollment is and why it's such a great opportunity, how can you help students get started? Here's a quick look!

Step #1: Find a partner.

First, you'll want to choose a school with advanced opportunities to help with the dual enrollment process. This school will grant the student's credits. Think of it as finding a partner for you and the students; this is where you'll get practical advice, guidance in choosing and registering for classes, and support with the entire learning process.

Step #2: Create a learning plan.

Dual enrollment can seem a little overwhelming to students at first. A learning plan, however, can be a huge help--so start by sketching out a basic idea of what the student wants to gain from dual enrollment, where they'd like their educational journey to take them, and how they want to get the job done. This can be generalized or specific, depending on the student's needs, but there should be a documented path to help keep class sequences in order.

Step #3: Do the paperwork.

Once your students are ready to get started, it's time to fill out all the proper paperwork. Since there's a lot to know, this is generally where your partner school can step in and help guide you in the right direction--but don't worry. The process is more straightforward than it sounds!

No matter what your students want to do later in their academic or professional careers, there's no better place to start than with dual-enrollment classes. Contact us today to learn more about available partnerships!

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