Published Date

April 30, 2018

Resource Type

AHA Standards and Guidelines, For Departments

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, K–12 Education, Teaching & Learning, Undergraduate Education

Adopted by AHA Council, January 28, 2016, updated 2017, updated 2018

Dual enrollment/concurrent enrollment (DE/CE) courses have increased during the past 10 years and continue to grow at a rate of 7 percent a year. Administrators, politicians, parents, and other stakeholders view these courses as a means to reduce the cost of higher education and encourage more students to attend college by allowing them to earn college and high school credit simultaneously. The types of courses offered range from workforce training to humanities and social sciences, including history.

DE/CE agreements between institutions of higher education and local school districts vary from state to state and from institution to institution. Some institutions have limited partnerships while others have those that extend across school districts and state boundaries. Delivery methods of courses vary between classroom settings in which high school students gain college credit by completing additional assignments to fully online classes taught by a university or college professor. High school teachers offer the majority of DE/CE classes, but frequently have little contact with the host college or university and little oversight despite the guidelines of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) that specifically outline best practices.

NACEP has accredited 97 DE/CE programs, and it has over 300 member institutions as of January 2016. At its most recent conference, over 800 people attended from member and nonmember institutions seeking to add or expand DE/CE offerings. The organization has created standards for universities and colleges, but these recommendations are simply guidelines to follow, not specific to any discipline. A department may not request accreditation, only an institution. Significantly, a college or university does not need to be a member or accredited by NACEP to offer DE/CE classes.

The AHA recommends that institutions offering DE/CE pursue accreditation from NACEP. In preparation for that accreditation and upon completion of it, the AHA encourages universities and colleges to strive to improve history education in which professors and teachers share resources and ideas, and that academic history departments have greater oversight of curriculum and instruction of DE/CE. Even with accreditation, departments offering DE/CE must continually ensure that the institutions, schools, and departments maintain communication to ensure a college-level class is being offered, that assessments are completed, and that proper funding and oversight is maintained. To meet the standards of the American Historical Association (AHA),

Colleges and Universities Must:

  • Share data, recruitment, and retention information of DE/CE students with history departments
  • Administer the programs in keeping with the best practices as recognized by the profession and the college or university history department that oversees the program
  • Protect the academic freedom of teachers teaching DE/CE courses, including the teaching and study of difficult, sensitive, and controversial subjects that are considered in college history courses
  • Provide academic departments with proper funding and support to oversee and administer the courses taught in high schools, including compensation for the department member(s) responsible for DE/CE oversight and mentorship
  • Appoint a full-time history faculty member who has departmental responsibility for overseeing local/regional dual and concurrent enrollment programs in History
  • Respect the decisions of the history department in regards to credentials, hiring, and syllabi of teachers
  • Maintain the academic integrity of the history department-courses taught in high schools must have the same course numbers, titles, designations, and credit as equivalent courses in college or university departments
  • Offer teachers in DE/CE with opportunities to continue their education in the fields that they are teaching
  • Organize workshops and orientations for host departments, professors, and teachers
  • Offer and support teacher and student access to library and university resources needed to teach a class

College and University History Faculty Must:

  • Annually review and approve the teachers, syllabi, and courses to ensure that these meet the academic standards of the department
  • Promote ongoing trainings and support for teachers to ensure best practices in course curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy
  • Provide annual professional development for teachers and professors to promote collegiality and to address course content and historiographical shifts, course delivery tools and platforms, and evaluation and assessment procedures
  • Designate a faculty member to visit campuses, review teachers, and promote collegiality between the university and its DE/CE partners

High School Principals and Districts Must:

  • Ensure that teachers are given ample time to attend workshops and events at the partner colleges and universities
  • Recognize and acknowledge that teachers must have academic freedom to teach college-level classes
  • Provide adequate planning to ensure that teachers have sections or classes that are designated college level
  • Designate sections of history classes that are exclusively for dual enrollment students-students may not gain DE credit by simply taking a history class and paying tuition
  • Respect the decisions of the hosting college or university academic department regarding hiring, syllabi, and teaching methods

DE/CE Teachers Must:

  • Annually submit their syllabi and teaching plans to the host department for approval
  • Participate in workshops and discipline-specific professional development activities to address content, assessment, evaluation, and historiography
  • Follow, complete, and submit assessment materials that are required by the partnering college or university department
  • Have a master’s degree or at least 18 graduate credit hours in history