Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

"Having this head start has made me excited to continue onto a 4-year university. I have gotten a taste of college life and I can't wait to see where this path will take me."

Rachel DeLeeuw, Junior at Sunset High School through Early College High School Program

Oregon's Dual Credit programs create the opportunity for our students to take college-level courses while still in high school. The Dual Credit Task Force found that, in 2005-06, one in seven Oregon juniors and seniors took advantage of this opportunity, saving approximately $9 million in tuition. Through its pilot analysis of the subsequent academic performance of these students, the Task Force also found that "in most cases, Dual Credit students match or outperform their college-prepared counterparts in both community college and university settings."

Thus, Dual Credit is currently a viable option for qualified students to begin post secondary learning early, and it can contribute significantly to meeting Oregon's 40-40-20 goal. As Dual Credit programs grow, it is important to have a consistent set of standards and ways to ensure the standards are met. This is the impetus for adopting the Oregon Standards for Dual Credit "College Now" Programs. Guided by those standards the Task Force specifically recommends

  • Strengthening faculty connections - including regular, collegial interactions amongst high school and college faculty and working to expand the pool of qualified high school Dual Credit faculty.

  • Adopting systematic application and review processes for Dual Credit programs - developing standardized application process for new programs and ensuring sustainable verification of program quality.

  • Enhancing public understanding of Dual Credit programs - through effectively publicizing Dual Credit programs as a key path for academic acceleration.

The Dual Credit program takes these recommendations to heart and uses them to guide the growth and maintenance of the program. The PCC Dual Credit program has development marketing materials, conducted workshops and held meetings to assist faculty and create partnerships. Program Manuals and Handbooks are available for faculty and students to make sure they have the information they need to be successful. We continue to research ways to strengthen our program and to publicize the great work that's being done by our faculty and students.

The Oregon Dual Credit Standards are divided into four categories with expectations listed in each subcategory as noted below.

Curriculum 1 (C1) College or university courses administered through a dual credit program are cataloged courses and approved through the regular course approval process of the sponsoring college or university. These courses have the same departmental designation, number, title, and credits as their college counterparts, and they adhere to the same course descriptions.
Curriculum 2 (C2) College or university courses administered through a dual credit program are recorded on the official academic record for students at the sponsoring college or university.
Curriculum 3 (C3) College or university courses administered through dual credit programs reflect the pedagogical, theoretical and philosophical orientation of the colleges’ and universities’ sponsoring academic departments.
Faculty 1 (F1) Instructors teaching college or university courses through dual credit meet the academic requirements for faculty and instructors teaching in post-secondary institutions as stipulated by the respective academic departments.
Faculty 2 (F2) The post secondary institution provides high school instructors with training and orientation in course curriculum, assessment criteria, course philosophy, and dual credit administrative requirements before certifying the instructors to teach the college/university courses.
Faculty (F3) Instructors teaching dual credit sections are part of a continuing collegial interaction, through professional development, seminars, site visits, and ongoing communication with the post-secondary institutions’ faculty and dual credit administration. This interaction addresses issues such as course content, course delivery, assessment, evaluation, and professional development in the field of study.
Students 1 (S1) High school students enrolled in courses administered through dual credit programs are officially registered or admitted as degree-seeking, non-degree or non-matriculated students of the sponsoring post-secondary institution.
Students 2 (S2) Post-secondary institutions outline course requirements and prerequisites.
Students 3 (S3) High school students are provided with a student guide that outlines their responsibilities as well as guidelines for the transfer of credit.
Assessment 1 (A1) Dual credit students are held to the same standards of achievement as those expected of students in on-campus sections.
Assessment 2 (A2) Every section of a course offered through dual credit is regularly reviewed by faculty from that discipline and dual credit staff to assure that grading standards meet or exceed those in on-campus sections.
Assessment 3 (A3) Dual credit students are assessed using similar methods (e.g. papers, portfolios, quizzes, labs, etc.) as their on-campus counterparts.