Dual Enrollment - State Profile

Dual Enrollment - State Profile - Texas

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Methodology:
This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Last updated: December 2013

Data compiled by Jennifer Dounay Zinth: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.
 

Program Basics
Statewide policy in place Yes
Definition or title of program State policy primarily uses the term dual credit, but also uses concurrent enrollment, joint high school and college credit, articulated postsecondary courses/articulated postsecondary advanced technical credit courses, and dual enrollment to refer to high school students’ enrollment in postsecondary coursework for both secondary and postsecondary credit. In other sections of statute, concurrent enrollment applies to a postsecondary student enrolled at more than one institution at the same time. A district and public two- or four-year institution may enter into an agreement to offer any such courses.

A public junior college may enter into an agreement with a school district or private high school (within or outside the junior college district’s service area) to offer a course through which students may receive high school and junior college credit.

A public junior college may also enter into an articulation agreement with one or more school districts in the junior college district to provide a dropout recovery program to persons under age 26. The junior college must offer advanced academic and transition opportunities, including dual credit and college preparatory courses. This profile does not include details about dropout recovery programs.
Where courses provided
  • At high school
  • At postsecondary institution
  • Virtual program
Postsecondary and/or secondary credit earned Dual credit, concurrent enrollment, joint high school and college credit, articulated postsecondary courses/articulated postsecondary advanced technical credit courses, and dual enrollment: Both

Administrative code also allows for contractual agreements between school districts and public two-year colleges, for colleges to provide instruction in courses to high school students for award of high school credit only.
Students may take developmental/remedial courses through dual enrollment program Yes. Each school district must partner with at least one institution of higher education to develop and provide 12th grade courses in college preparatory mathematics and English language arts. A course may be offered for dual credit at the institution of higher education’s discretion.

Public colleges may not offer remedial and developmental courses for dual credit.
CTE component Yes. To meet the requirement that districts offer the equivalent of at least 12 credit hours of college credit in high school, a district may provide the opportunity to earn credit for a course or activity, including an apprenticeship or training hours, that is approved by the higher education coordinating board, satisfies a requirement for earning an industry-recognized credential or certificate or an associate degree, and for which a student may earn credit toward both the student's high school diploma and postsecondary academic requirements. A district is not required to pay a student’s tuition or other associated costs for taking a course under these provisions. 

2013 legislation creates the Texas Workforce Innovation Needs Program, to provide selected school districts, and public and private postsecondary institutions with the opportunity to establish innovative programs to prepare students for careers for which there is demand in the state. An applicant school district or institution must submit a plan that must, to the greatest extent appropriate for the grade or higher education levels served under the program, either: (1) focus on engagement of students in competency-based learning as necessary to earn postsecondary credentials, or (2) incorporate CTE courses into dual enrollment courses.

The comptroller is authorized to award grants for the development of new CTE courses or programs at public junior colleges and public technical institutes. Such a grant may be used to support courses, including dual credit courses, to prepare students for employment in occupations identified by local businesses as being in high demand. In awarding a grant, the comptroller must primarily consider the potential economic returns to the state from the development of the career and technical education course or program. The comptroller may also consider whether the course or program offers new or expanded dual credit CTE opportunities in public high schools.

The state education agency must biennially update a state plan for career and technology education. The plan must include procedures designed to ensure that districts provide, to the greatest extent possible, opportunities for CTE students to enroll in dual credit courses designed to lead to a degree, license, or certification.
Unique characteristics The institution of higher education in closest geographic proximity to a public high school identified as substantially below the state average in the number of graduates enrolling in higher education institutions must enter into an agreement with that high school to develop a plan to increase students’ college-going rates. Under the plan, the institution must actively engage with local school districts to provide access to rigorous, high-quality dual credit opportunities for qualified students as needed.

Each school district receives an annual allotment of $275 for each student in average daily attendance in grades 9-12. With certain exceptions, a district or campus must use such funds for any of five purposes, including implementing or administering a program that encourages students to pursue advanced academic opportunities, including early college high school programs and dual credit, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses.

Statute directs the commissioner to establish by rule an academic distinction designation for districts and campuses for outstanding performance in attainment of postsecondary readiness. The criteria the commissioner adopts for the designation must include, among others, percentages of students who completed a dual credit course or an articulated postsecondary course provided for local credit.

A student may earn a performance acknowledgment on the student's diploma and transcript by satisfying the requirements for that acknowledgment adopted by the state board by rule. An acknowledgment under this subsection may be earned for outstanding performance in a dual credit course.

The state board must establish a process to review and approve an applied STEM course to satisfy a math or science course otherwise required under the foundation high school program. The applied STEM course must qualify as a dual credit course or an articulated postsecondary course provided for local credit or articulated postsecondary advanced technical credit course provided for state credit.

The commissioner of higher education and the commissioner of education, in consultation with the comptroller and the Texas Workforce Commission, may award a grant of up to $1 million to an institution of higher education to develop advanced mathematics and science courses to prepare high school students for employment in a high-demand occupation. (Definition of “high-demand occupation” for these purposes jointly determined by the commissioner of higher education, the commissioner of education, the comptroller, and the Texas Workforce Commission.) An institution of higher education must work in partnership with at least one independent school district and a business entity in developing a course under this grant. A course developed for these purposes must be offered for dual credit.

Students in dual credit courses must have access to the same or comparable support services that are afforded college students on the main campus. The college is responsible for ensuring timely and efficient access to such services (e.g., academic advising and counseling), to learning materials (e.g., library resources), and to other benefits for which the student may be eligible.

Students pursuing the distinguished achievement high school program (a.k.a. advanced high school program) must achieve any combination of four “advanced measures,” one of which is college academic courses, including those taken for dual credit, and advanced technical credit courses, including locally articulated courses, with a grade of 3.0 or higher.

For courses offered through an agreement with a public junior college and a school district or private high school: Private school students and home school students may also participate. The public junior college must apply the same criteria and conditions to each student wishing to enroll in the course without regard to whether the student attends a public school or a private or parochial school, including a home school.
Access
Offering mandatory or voluntary Voluntary. However, each school district must offer the equivalent of at least 12 credit hours of college credit in high school, which may be offered through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual credit, articulated postsecondary courses provided for local credit or articulated postsecondary advanced technical credit courses provided for state credit, or any combination thereof. Institutions are not required to offer dual credit courses.
College partners can be 2-year/4-year/both Both
Student eligibility requirements
  • Written approval/recommendation. From the high school principal or other school official designated by the school district.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution. Students must meet all the college's regular prerequisite requirements designated for that course (e.g., minimum score on a specified placement test, minimum grade in a specified previous course, etc.).
  • Not specified. For courses provided through an agreement between a public junior college and a school district or private high school, the public junior college must apply the same criteria and conditions to each student wishing to enroll in the course without regard to whether the student attends a public school or a private or parochial school, including a home school. Postsecondary institutions and school districts may impose additional eligibility requirements.
  • Student in grades 11-12
  • Other. Student must demonstrate college readiness by achieving the minimum passing standards under the provisions of the Texas Success Initiative on relevant section(s) of an assessment instrument as approved by the board, or demonstrate that he/she is exempt under the provisions of the Texas Success Initiative. Alternatively, a student may also demonstrate eligibility by (1) achieving a minimum designated Level 2 final phase-in score on the Algebra II end-of-course assessment and/or the English II reading or English II writing end-of-course assessments, relevant to the courses to be attempted, or (2) achieving a combined score of 107 on the PSAT/NMSQT with a minimum of 50 on the critical reading and/or mathematics test relevant to the courses to be attempted, or (3) achieving a composite score of 23 on the PLAN with a 19 or higher in mathematics and English. A student is eligible to enroll in workforce education dual credit courses he/she achieves the designated minimum final phase-in score on the Algebra I end-of-course assessment and/or the English II reading or English II writing end-of-course assessments relevant to the courses to be attempted.
For courses offered through a partnership between a secondary school and public two-year college: Student eligibility requirements established in partnership agreement.
Cap on number of credits students may earn Yes — 2 courses a semester. Exceptions may be made by the principal and postsecondary partner's chief academic officer for students with outstanding academic performance and capability, as demonstrated by grade point average, SAT or ACT scores, or other criteria.

For courses offered through an agreement with a public junior college and a school district or private high school: Yes — three courses per academic year if the student's high school falls outside the junior college district’s service area.
Students/parents must be notified of dual enrollment opportunities Yes. Districts must annually notify parents of students in grades 9-12 of opportunities to earn college credit, including through dual credit programs and joint high school and college credit programs. The notification must include the name and contact information of any public or private entity offering a college credit program in the district. A school district may provide this notification on the district's website.

In addition, during the first school year a student is enrolled in a high school, and again during each successive year of enrollment in high school, a school counselor must provide information to the student and the student's parent on the availability of programs in the district under which a student may earn college credit, including Advanced Placement programs, dual credit programs, joint high school and college credit programs, and International Baccalaureate programs.
Counseling/advising is made available to students Dual credit: Yes. Students in dual credit courses must be eligible to utilize the same or comparable support services afforded college students on the main campus. The college is responsible for ensuring timely and efficient access to such services (e.g., academic advising and counseling).

Courses offered through partnerships between secondary schools and public two-year colleges: Yes. The partnership agreement must address provision of student learning and support services.
Finance
Who is primarily responsible for paying tuition Local decision. Higher education institutions and junior colleges with which a district has entered into an agreement may waive all or a portion of tuition and fees. If the institution does not provide a waiver, tuition is the responsibility of the student/parent.

To meet the requirement that districts offer the equivalent of at least 12 credit hours of college credit in high school, a district may provide the opportunity to earn credit for a course or activity, including an apprenticeship or training hours, that is approved by the higher education coordinating board, satisfies a requirement for earning an industry-recognized credential or certificate or an associate degree, and for which a student may earn credit toward both the student's high school diploma and postsecondary academic requirements. A district is not required to pay a student’s tuition or other associated costs for taking a course under these provisions.

Tuition and fees must be waived for a dual credit student under the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services. The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board must develop outreach programs to ensure that eligible students in grades 9-12 are aware of the availability of this exemption from tuition and fees.
How state funds participating high schools Equal
How state funds participating postsecondary institutions Equal, with qualifications. A college may only claim funding for students earning college credit in core curriculum, career and technical education, and foreign language dual credit courses.

For a junior college offering a course through an agreement with a school district or private high school, the contact hours attributable to the high school student’s enrollment are included in the contact hours used to determine the junior college's proportionate share of the state money appropriated and distributed to public junior colleges, unless it is a physical education course.
Ensuring Program Quality
Instructor qualifications component Dual credit: Yes. The college selects dual credit instructors. These instructors must be regularly employed faculty members of the college or meet the same standards (including minimal requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and approval procedures used by the college to select faculty responsible for teaching the same courses at the main campus of the college. The college must supervise and evaluate instructors of dual credit courses using the same or comparable procedures used for faculty at the main campus of the college. The college must ensure that a dual credit course and the corresponding course offered at the main campus of the college are equivalent with respect to the curriculum, materials, instruction, and method/rigor of student evaluation. These standards must be upheld regardless of the student composition of the class.

Regular academic policies applicable to courses taught at the college's main campus must also apply to dual credit courses (i.e., appeal process for disputed grades, drop policy, the communication of grading policy to students, when the syllabus must be distributed, etc.)

Courses offered through partnerships between secondary schools and public two-year colleges: The partnership agreement must address faculty qualifications, provision of student learning, and grading criteria.

Online courses: The Texas Education Agency evaluates and approves all electronic courses. If funds are insufficient to pay for evaluating and approving all courses submitted for approval, the agency must give priority to five types of courses, including courses that allow a student to earn college credit or other advanced credit.

Administrative code specifies the qualifications and professional development requirements applicable to secondary and college instructors offering electronic dual credit courses.
Program reporting requirement Yes. Districts must annually report to the Texas Education Agency the number of students, including CTE students, who have participated in the college credit program (i.e., dual credit,  articulated postsecondary courses, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, etc.), the number of courses in which students have enrolled, and the college credit hours students have earned. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board must collect student course credit data from public institutions of higher education to assist in this data collection. 

The higher education coordinating board must maintain for each public junior college, public technical institute, and public state college an online resume for the institution designed for use by legislators and other interested policy makers. The resume must include the percentage of students who are enrolled in one or more dual credit courses at the institution for the most recent state fiscal year for which the information is available (and compare to the previous year and last five years for which information is available).
Program evaluation component Yes. Every local board must establish annual performance goals related to enrollment in advanced courses, including dual or college credit courses, Advanced Placement, and/or International Baccalaureate. Local boards must annually review data on the district's progress on enrollment in advanced courses, disaggregated by race, gender and socioeconomic status.
Transferability
Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits Unclear. Each institution of higher education must adopt a policy to grant undergraduate course credit to entering freshmen who have successfully completed one or more college courses while in high school. Policy does not specify whether credit must be applied toward an institution’s general core or major requirements, or may only be awarded for elective credit.

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