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Dual enrollment, which allows students to take courses for college credit while still enrolled in high school, is increasingly widespread, with many state education agencies actively promoting the practice. While both two- and four-year colleges and universities offer these programs, high school students are more likely to be enrolled at community colleges.1

Research indicates that students who earn dual enrollment credits are more likely to attend college, earn a higher grade point average, and make swifter progress toward a college degree.2 While reducing the cost of higher education for some families, dual enrollment has been criticized for exacerbating inequality, since participants tend to be well-resourced white students.3 Some humanities faculty at four-year colleges and universities worry that dual enrollment drives down enrollment at their institutions.4 Other observers worry about the rigor and scope of such courses, particularly when they are offered for community college credit but taught by secondary school instructors.5 This study does not speak to the impact of dual enrollment, but it does indicate the number and distribution of high school students in the ecosystem of humanities education at community colleges.

Endnotes

Dually Enrolled High School Students Taking at Least One Humanities Course at a Community College, by Discipline, Fall 2015

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The middle bar depicts the estimated enrollment, and the upper and lower bars depict the range of uncertainty.
* Includes: 1) survey courses entitled “Humanities”; and 2) courses coded in colleges’ information systems as humanities but not counted in the other disciplinary categories.
** The estimated value for “Any Humanities Course” is unduplicated and thus less than the sum of the values for the individual disciplines.
For the values underlying this figure, see American Academy of Arts Sciences, Humanities Indicators, “Humanities Education in Community Colleges: A Pilot Study,” https://humanitiesindicators.org/binaries/pdf/HI_Humanities_Education_in_Community_Colleges.pdf (March 2019), appendix, tables 10, E5, FL5, H5, P5, and OH5.

Share of Community Colleges with Dually Enrolled High School Students Taking Humanities Courses, by Discipline, Fall 2015

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The middle bar depicts the estimated proportion, and the upper and lower bars depict the range of uncertainty.
* Includes: 1) survey courses entitled “Humanities”; and 2) courses coded in colleges’ information systems as humanities but not counted in the other disciplinary categories.
** The estimated value for “Any Humanities Course” is unduplicated and thus less than the sum of the values for the individual disciplines.
For the values underlying this figure, see American Academy of Arts Sciences, Humanities Indicators, “Humanities Education in Community Colleges: A Pilot Study,” https://humanitiesindicators.org/binaries/pdf/HI_Humanities_Education_in_Community_Colleges.pdf (March 2019), appendix, tables 5, E5, FL5, H5, P5, and OH5.

Dually Enrolled High School Students as a Share of Community College Coursetakers in Selected Humanities Disciplines, by Region, Fall 2015

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ENG: English • LOTE: Languages Other than English • HIST: History • PHIL: Philosophy
The middle bar depicts the estimated proportion, and the upper and lower bars depict the range of uncertainty.
* Oth Hum: Other humanities, includes: 1) survey courses entitled “Humanities”; and 2) courses coded in colleges’ information systems as humanities but not counted in the other disciplinary categories.
** Any Hum: Any humanities course
Nine institutions included in the study are located in US territories; their data were excluded from this analysis. For the values underlying this figure, see American Academy of Arts Sciences, Humanities Indicators, “Humanities Education in Community Colleges: A Pilot Study,” https://humanitiesindicators.org/binaries/pdf/HI_Humanities_Education_in_Community_Colleges.pdf (March 2019), appendix, tables 12, E7, FL7, H7, P7, and OH7.
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