Increase in Students Earning Dual Credit
There has been a spike in the number of dual credit students this spring at East Central College compared to last year.
There are 525 students who are enrolled in dual credit at ECC, which is 51 more than the 474 enrolled in the spring 2019 semester.
Dual Credit allows high school students to earn both college and high school credit simultaneously. Dual credit classes are taught by ECC-certified high school faculty in the high school.
According to ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer, the more than 10 percent increase is due to, in part, to the college’s initiative to provide dual credit to students in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program at no cost.
“We are excited about the additional students we are reaching through this dual credit initiative,” he said. “East Central is committed to providing tuition-free dual credit for students on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program which began this spring.”
There are 55 students who are taking advantage of the new ECC program that was approved by the board of trustees in December 2019.
“We moved quickly with this initiative in order to reach as many students as possible, as soon as possible,” Bauer commented.
“Cost should not be a barrier to college, and this program ensures that talented high school students can participate in dual credit regardless of income,” he added. “The growth this spring shows that we are on the right path.”
The new program aligns with ECC’s strategic plan, SOAR to 2024, which calls the enrollment 660 dual credit students by October 2024, Bauer said.
ECC Director of Early College Programs Megen Strubberg said she expects even more students in the free and reduced lunch program to enroll in dual credit classes in the fall 2020 semester.
“We are anticipating the program to grow as the word gets out,” she said.
In addition to the students in the free and reduced lunch program, Strubberg attributes the increase of dual credit enrollees to an expanded field of offerings to students within their high schools.
“We are so excited to see the dual credit program grow by enhancing our credit offerings to students who are still in high school,” she said.
Strubberg added that students who participate in early college programs are more likely to enroll full-time after high school. Early college can shorten the time to degree and reduce the overall cost of higher education for students and their families.
Dual credit students are from high school, referred to as feeder schools, throughout the ECC service area, and beyond.
Nearly 25 percent of the dual credit students this spring attend St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, where 131 are taking ECC courses.
The next top feeder school is Washington High School with 64, followed by Union High School, 61; St. Clair High School, 58; Cuba High School, 42; and Vienna High School, 24. There are 15 Owensville High School students in the program and 14 from Rolla High School.
In addition, 92 of the total dual credit students are enrolled in technical courses.
Dual credit differs from dual enrollment. Dual enrollment students are high school students taking traditional classes at ECC campus or online only. There are 60 additional students in dual enrollment coursework.
The number of credits high school students are taking through dual credit has increased by nearly 17 percent over last spring. This year students are taking 2,394 credits compared to 2,052 in spring 2019.
For more information about all early college programs, contact Strubberg at 636-584-6723 or email Megen.Strubberg@eastcentral.edu.