Dual enrollment participation on the rise in Nebraska, according to new report

April 5, 2024, 7 a.m. ·

Students in desks
(Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock)

Listen To This Story

The amount of students participating in dual enrollment across the state has increased since 2016, according to a new report from the Nebraska Statewide Workforce and Educational Reporting System, or NSWERS.

In dual enrollment courses, students can earn college credits while still in high school. Matt Hastings, executive director for NSWERS, said with that increase comes the need for the state to assess its resources.

“I think some of the challenges that we're going to be dealing with is do we have enough capacity to be able to meet the needs of students who are wanting to pursue more and more dual enrollment opportunities,” Hastings said.

The data shows the growth in dual enrollment has impacted other aspects in a student’s success in education. About 99% of dual enrollment credit earners graduated from high school in 2020 compared to 83% of non-credit earners.

“Dual enrollment is associated with positive academic outcomes, including higher graduation rates in high school, higher levels of college enrollment and persistence, higher GPAs and higher college graduation rates,” Hastings said.

The data further shows students who take dual enrollment classes are more likely to stay in-state for college, according to Hastings.

“With all of the conversations, and the important conversations, that we're having in Nebraska about brain drain, about how we retain our best and brightest, I think it's really promising that we've identified here that dual enrollment is a really strong strategy for trying to keep talent in Nebraska,” Hastings said.

This is the first year this research has been conducted in the state. Hastings said these results can help inform students and their families about the positive impact of dual enrollment on academics.