High-quality college instruction and academic support

Actionable Takeaways

  • Schools and campuses should offer comprehensive academic support services to dual credit students, including tutoring, advising, counseling, language support, and access to resources, to enhance their success in college-level coursework.
  • Schools and campuses should offer non-academic support services, such as mental health services and peer-to-peer mentoring, to promote the overall well-being, engagement, and connection of and for dual credit students.
  • A summary of school and campus support should be shared with students regularly so they understand what is offered and how to access it. This content should also be addressed on syllabus and in-class.
  • Schools should focus on offering dual credit courses that align with transfer requirements and are valuable for students' intended majors or general education requirements, coupled with providing information and support to navigate the transfer process effectively.

Provide academic support to dual credit students from both the high school and college.

High school students who are enrolled in dual credit courses can benefit from academic support provided by both the high school and the college. High schools can offer a range of academic support services to dual credit students, such as tutoring, study groups, and academic counseling. These services can help students succeed in their dual credit courses and prepare them for the academic rigors of college-level coursework. High schools can also provide access to resources such as academic libraries, computer labs, and online research databases to support students’ academic success.

Colleges can also provide academic support to dual credit students, including advising, tutoring, and academic coaching, just as they do with traditional college students. These are often provided on-campus to any student, including those enrolled in dual enrollment offerings. Students can benefit from meeting with college advisors to discuss their academic goals and progress and receive guidance on selecting courses and preparing for college. Tutoring and academic coaching can also help students improve their study skills and better understand course content.

In addition to these traditional forms of academic support, colleges and high schools can also leverage technology to provide additional resources to dual credit students. For example, online learning platforms can offer interactive study materials, practice exercises, and digital textbooks to help students master course content. Video conferencing and virtual office hours can also allow students to connect with instructors and tutors in real-time, even if they cannot be physically present on campus.

Student with disabilities.

In high school students with disabilities are guaranteed educational services and support under the IDEA federal law or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. According to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, an individual with a disability is a person who 1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities: or 2) has a record of such impairment; or 3) is regarded as having such impairment. However, this law does not apply to higher education and the disability service model at college can be very different from the one many high school students and their parents are accustomed to using.

It’s important to learn as much as you can about disability services at your college of choice as each higher education institution tends to offer different types of support. Most college campuses have some version of an Office of Disability Services, which coordinates the provision of reasonable accommodations and support services for students with disabilities. Students’ needs for reasonable accommodations and support services are verified by these offices. They also provide counseling and referrals, and arrange crucial auxiliary aids and services, including assistive technology services, note takers, readers, sign language interpreter services, distance learning networks, priority registration, and alternative testing arrangements. And, in many cases all students enrolled in classes are eligible including dual enrollment, certificate, associate, baccalaureate and graduate degree programs.

In all cases, participation is voluntary, and some students do not request assistance in meeting their needs on campus. Other students may not need accommodations for every class or every semester for which they enroll. And some other students may have disabilities which do not limit access to educational opportunities. Decisions regarding specific accommodations are made by campus staff based on documentation and need to be considered on a case-by-case basis because the impact of a given disability on each person can be totally different in its effect.

Provide non-academic support to dual credit students from both the high school and college.

In addition to academic support, high schools and colleges can provide non-academic support to dual credit students to promote their well-being and success. This can include mental health services, wellness programs, and access to extracurricular activities. While research suggests that the following supports will improve the experience for dual credit students, they simultaneously benefit all students.

High schools can offer counseling and mental health services to dual credit students to support their emotional and psychological well-being. This can include individual or group therapy, crisis counseling, and referrals to community mental health resources. Creating a space and time when students enrolled in dual credit courses are invited to share their experiences and challenges with other students also engaged in dual credit is another suggested support component, as this leads to the creation of a community of student peers who can support and connect with one another during their experience.

Peer-to-peer or near-peer mentoring is another form of non-academic support that can be provided to dual credit students to promote their success. High schools and colleges can establish mentorship programs that pair dual credit students with college students who can provide guidance and support.

Peer mentors can offer insight into the college experience, provide academic support and advice, and help dual credit students navigate campus resources and services. They can also serve as role models and provide encouragement and motivation to help dual credit students stay on track and achieve their goals.

Additionally, high schools and colleges can offer workshops and training programs for peer mentors to ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively support dual credit students. This can include training on effective communication, active listening, and building positive relationships.

By providing comprehensive non-academic support services, high schools and colleges can support dual credit students’ well-being and help them feel more connected, thus helping them thrive and increasing their chances of success both academically and personally.

Focus dual credit opportunities on classes that are most likely to be valuable for transfer.

High schools should work closely with partner colleges to identify courses that are eligible for transfer credit and are most likely to meet the requirements of the college or university where students plan to transfer. This may involve reviewing course catalogs and transfer guidelines to identify courses that are commonly accepted for transfer credit.

Second, high schools can prioritize offering courses that are required for students’ intended majors or degree programs. This can help ensure that the courses students take will count toward their degree requirements and help them make progress toward their academic goals.

Third, high schools can focus on offering courses that are commonly required or recommended for general education requirements. These courses are typically more likely to transfer across colleges and universities, and can help students fulfill basic requirements while exploring potential majors or fields of study.

Finally, high schools can work with partner colleges to provide information and support to students and families about the transfer process, including how to identify courses that are most likely to be accepted for transfer credit, and how to navigate the transfer process. This can help ensure that students are well-informed about their options and are able to make informed decisions about their academic plans.

Accessing College Now

Supported by funding from the New York State Education Department, New York City Public Schools, and CUNY, College Now supports dual enrollment and dual credit programming opportunities in New York City. For NYC public schools CUNY’s College Now program is the largest dual enrollment program in New York City, and schools and students incur no additional cost for participating.

For high schools wanting to partner with CUNY’s College Now program, please complete this application.