There are no state statutes governing dual enrollment in Rhode Island.  A statewide policy established through the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education in the 1980s states that districts “shall develop concurrent enrollment programs and policies and disseminate information concerning participation in these programs.”

Several secondary and postsecondary institutions have formed partnerships to create programs through which students can earn high school and college credit simultaneously. A recent report from Rhode Island Partnerships for Success indicates that all 11 of Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities offer some form of dual enrollment.  Some, like the programs offered by Rhode Island College, specifically target nontraditional or at-risk populations.  To incentivize continued participation in dual enrollment and dual enrollment partnerships, the Rhode Island Partnership for Success offers small grants to institutions and individual students.



States should broaden eligibility requirements to permit students to participate in credit-bearing, college-level courses based on proficiency in those subjects even if they are not proficient in others. Student eligibility should also be jointly determined by secondary and postsecondary and use multiple measures: a combination of tests, end-of-course grades, teacher recommendations, and students’ work portfolios.

POLICY ELEMENT: Eligibility requirements are determined by the secondary and postsecondary sectors together.

Not in Evidence

Postsecondary institutions determine eligibility requirements for concurrent enrollment programs.

POLICY ELEMENT: High school students can participate in college courses based on their proficiency in those subjects, even if they are not proficient in others.

Not in Evidence

Students have to meet college admission standards for non remedial courses in all subject areas. More specifically, high school students need to meet minimum standards for state system institutions based upon scores on the ACT/SAT or a high school GPA of 3.0/4.0 and class rank.

POLICY ELEMENT: Eligibility is determined by a combination of tests, end-of-course grades, teacher recommendations, and student academic work.

In Evidence

Eligibility criteria provide multiple ways for students to become eligible for dual enrollment. For example, if students are unable to meet the minimum score on the ACT/SAT, they can still qualify for concurrent enrollment based on GPA and class rank.

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States should ensure that college courses offered to high school students use the same syllabi and exams as comparable courses taught on a college campus, and that dual enrollees can receive dual-credit so they earn both high school and college credits upon successfully completing courses. In addition, the postsecondary institution conferring credit should set the qualifications for faculty teaching dual-credit courses.

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States should develop funding policies that allow high school students to take college courses free of tuition and non-course-related charges, and that allow both districts and postsecondary institutions to claim per-pupil funding allocations to support the cost of offering college courses for dual-credit. There should also be provisions or special appropriations to support the development of early college schools targeting students who are underrepresented in higher education.

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States should report annually on dual enrollment participation and impact and develop administrative structures to support program leaders and dual enrollment partnerships. States should also designate a state board or governing body as having the authority and responsibility to guide dual enrollment policy.

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States should develop unit-record statewide data systems that identify dual enrollees by demographic characteristics and monitor student progress longitudinally across the K-12 and higher education systems.

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States should require that districts and postsecondary institutions specify and document key roles and responsibilities in memoranda of understanding or cooperative agreements, including the provision of a college liaison for student advisement and support. States should also provide support and funding for programs designed to serve students who are over-age and undercredited, as well as youth who have dropped out of high school.

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