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New Tool Helps Students Maximize Benefits of Dual-Credit Courses


Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3902

St. Paul, MN - The growing popularity and benefits of taking college-credit courses while still in high school have revealed challenges and barriers many students can find difficult to overcome. Access across Minnesota high schools is not always equitable, students can have difficulty getting credit for program participation, and concerns over course rigor and quality are some of the most common barriers.

To help address these issues, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), as directed by legislation passed last year, has completed a comprehensive survey of all Minnesota colleges and universities regarding their dual credit/exam-based credit acceptance policies.

"We were pleased to learn that almost all Minnesota colleges and universities award college credit for dual credit and exam-based participation," said Commissioner Larry Pogemiller, Office of Higher Education. "However, because awareness of these policies is often dispersed among multiple offices and staff, it can be difficult for students to get the information they need to successfully earn credit for their work."

Other survey findings include:

  • 98% of Minnesota colleges and universities award college credit for successful dual credit program participation, and 95% award college credit for passing AP, IB, and CLEP scores.
  • 96% of Minnesota colleges and universities publicize their dual credit and exam-based credit acceptance policies on their website and are prepared to respond to student and parent questions.
  • Career and Technical Education credits are not as widely accepted liberal arts/general education credits and are handled differently by colleges and universities.
  • Many Minnesota colleges and universities, including the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, rely on their general transfer policy when enrolling students with dual credit or exam-based credit. This suggests institutions use consistent standards when accepting credits.

Research shows that dual credit programs have a greater positive effect on low-income students than their affluent peers, yet these students are historically underrepresented in these programs. Pogemiller said the Office of Higher Education will work to educate more students about dual credit acceptance policies, through student outreach efforts, informational pieces, such as the Choosing A College booklet, and by sharing the information on OHE's website under Preparing for College.

The OHE website includes information on the types of programs available to earn college credit, Frequently Asked Questions about dual credit programs, and an interactive table that allows students to search credits awarded at each college by program and subject type.

In addition to the findings of the survey, the report also includes guidelines to help students submit their dual credit/exam-based coursework for credit.

The study can be found here: Dual Credit and Exam-based Credit Acceptance Policies of Minnesota College and Universities.

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