VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – According to division enrollment records, the number of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) students taking dual-enrollment courses has increased by more than 48 percent in the past five years, showing that students are taking advantage of rigorous and challenging classroom experiences.
Through a partnership with Tidewater Community College (TCC), dual-enrollment courses provide high school students an opportunity to take community college courses and earn credit while still in high school – and possibly even earn an associate’s degree before they graduate.
This data comes on the heels of the announcement from The College Board that more VBCPS students from more diverse backgrounds than ever before were enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, took the end-of-year AP exam and earned college credit for their performance on the exam. Historically, when enrollment in AP classes grows, dual enrollment numbers drop, but VBCPS can report increases in both.
Division data shows that from 2014-2015 to 2018-2019, the number of students in dual enrollment courses increased from 723 to 1,070 students, or 48 percent. In addition, the number of students taking more than one course also grew. During that same period, the number of dual enrollment courses taken by students rose from 1,241 to 2,148, or 73 percent.
Those success are attributed to two factors: increased information provided to students through schools and division-wide events and more dual enrollment courses being offered in core content areas as well as for career and industrial certifications.
“This is great news because we have been working hard – even made it one of our division goals – to create more opportunities for students to explore a multitude of postsecondary options,” said VBCPS Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence. “By taking these dual enrollment courses, they are experiencing college-level rigor, discovering potential areas of career interest and are also earning credit towards degrees from our community colleges and many public and private universities.”
VBCPS offers dual enrollment courses range from college composition to industrial robotics programming. Some courses are offered on high school campuses while others are offered at the college. Regardless of the location, the courses use the same syllabus, text and curriculum used by TCC. However, students and their families save money because the courses are offered at a greatly reduced rate of only $45 per credit.
To learn more about dual enrollment, you can visit the Virginia Department of Education’s website. Students can also contact their high school counselors.