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Earning College Credits in High School: Options, Participation, and Outcomes for Oregon Students

In 2011 Oregon passed legislation that established the ambitious target of having 80 percent of Oregon adults earn a postsecondary degree by 2025. Ensuring that students can earn college credits in high school is central to achieving this goal.

Although there are a variety of accelerated college credit (ACC) options already available in Oregon, there is a lack of understanding about those options, their distinctive features, and the characteristics of students participating in them. In addition, the lack of consistent reporting structures makes it impossible to track who is accessing these programs and the impact on students’ educational outcomes.

This study will fill these gaps by:

  • Providing a clear definition and description of the different ways high school students earn college credits while in high school
  • Analyzing the costs of these programs
  • Calculating the statewide participation rates for dual credit
  • Describing the characteristics and outcomes of students in each of these different programs, as well as students who did not participate in any ACC programs while in high school

The study will also highlight the types of analyses that can be conducted with richer data and the types of data elements that agency members may want to collect and report in the future. This could inform policy changes related to statewide data collection.