Dual Enrollment in Maryland: A Report to the General Assembly and Governor Lawrence J. Hogan

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Dual enrollment -- Maryland -- Statistics, Academic achievement -- Maryland, College credits -- United States


A total of 5,453 Maryland 12th grade students were dually enrolled with overlapping enrollment dates in high school and a Maryland postsecondary institution in academic year 2013-2014. Overall, the total number of dually enrolled students in Maryland has increased 2% between the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years. This trend varies across school districts. The great majority of dually enrolled students were 12th grade students, but the percentages of dually enrolled students who were in 9th-11th grades have increased between the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 academic years. The proportion of dually enrolled students that were female has remained stable across academic years (59%), with female students over-represented in dual enrollment participation in comparison to the proportion of female students in the 12th grade population (50%). Students eligible for free and reduced price meals (FARMs) are under-represented in dual enrollment participation. Racial minority students and Hispanic students are also under-represented in participation in dual enrollment, whereas White students are over-represented. Most dually enrolled students attended Maryland community colleges. A greater proportion of dually enrolled students (91%) enrolled in postsecondary education within one academic year when compared to the proportion of students in the population of Maryland 12th grade students (63%). However, this finding should be interpreted cautiously. In sum, a greater proportion of dually enrolled students are White, not Hispanic, Female, and not eligible for FARMs, and students with those characteristics generally enroll in postsecondary education at higher rates than other students. Such educational attainment gaps are generally seen as the result of those groups of students historically and currently not having equal access to effective educational programming or services.

In addition to examining overlapping enrollment dates in high schools and postsecondary institutions to identify dually enrolled students, data from MHEC were used to identify students whom Maryland postsecondary institutions identified to be dually enrolled. This method is included in the report because it is the method used in prior MLDSC reports on dual enrollment, and it is the only method for which 2014-2015 data on dual enrollment are currently available. The number of dually enrolled high school students (from both public and private schools) identified by Maryland postsecondary institutions has substantially increased from 5,716 students in the 2013- 2014 academic year to 6,724 students in the 2014-2015 academic year, using this method of identifying students.

This report is the first dual enrollment report that used merged cross agency data to identify dually enrolled students in Maryland. The benefit of cross agency data is that it provides a high level of confidence that the students identified are actually concurrently enrolled in both a high school and a postsecondary institution. As more years of data become available within the MLDS, additional trends can be reported. Future research on dual enrollment will examine the academic achievement of students who are dually enrolled compared to students who are not dually enrolled and will examine additional postsecondary educational outcomes, including retention, degree attainment, and time to degree.


Note: At the time of writing, Dr. Uretsky was affiliated with the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Originally published December 2015, Version 3.0 released April 2016.

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