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Increased Participation in Colorado’s CE Programs Shows Benefits for Students

On September 17th the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and Colorado Department of Education (CDE) released a report showing nearly 50,500 students took at least one dual enrollment course during the 2018-19 academic year. This was an increase of nearly 4,700 students from 2017-18, or a 9.2% jump in dual enrollment participation overall. This report includes findings from a research study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, and IBS’s very own Pam Buckley, director of the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development Program, and Phil Pendergast, Administrator of the Rocky Mountain Research Data Center housed in IBS.  

Nearly 40% of Colorado’s high school graduates participate in Colorado’s Concurrent Enrollment program, a dual enrollment program established by the state legislature in 2009, that provides high school students with the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses and earn high school and college credit for free. Participation in CE programs prepares students for college and can result in more success and earnings in the workplace. Since its inception, participation in these programs has been growing, including among people of color. Other statistics from the research study in this year’s report indicate that in the 2018-2019 academic school year, students who attempted one or more Concurrent Enrollment credits in high school were dramatically more likely to matriculate to college within one year following high school graduation, persist in postsecondary education, complete postsecondary education, and have higher workforce earnings after postsecondary completion. 

For more information about the press release and the research study’s findings visit