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A Growing Number of Wisconsin Students Earn College Credits while still in High School

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A Growing Number of Wisconsin Students Earn College Credits while still in High School

A new report reveals the numbers have more than doubled in the last 10 years

July 27, 2023 6:27 PM CDT

By: Teri Barr

A new report shows there is a growing number of Wisconsin students who are earning college credits while still in high school.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum just released the report, focused on how many high school students participate in what’s called “dual enrollment” programs. It’s a process meant to allow students in the state to enroll in college or technical college courses while still in high school.

The report indicates nearly one in four high schoolers earned college credit during the 2021-22 school year. The number has more than doubled during the past 10 years, growing from 30 thousand to nearly 70 thousand students. 27% of students in the Green Bay School District participated, while in the Racine Unified School District, 44% of students completed at least one college course. Less than 5% of students in Madison and Milwaukee used dual enrollment program.

The top subjects for high school students taking University of Wisconsin System classes are math, English, and Spanish. Medical terminology, introduction to psychology, and oral/interpersonal communications are most popular among the Wisconsin Technical College System courses.

The report suggests, high school students are looking at dual enrollment classes as a way to save time and money by earning credit ahead of any plans to further their education after graduation.

Many of the programs are free for students with costs covered by a mix of sources, including school districts and colleges.

Dual enrollment is currently only tracked through collaborations with the UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. 

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