To know God and to make Him known.

Dual Enrollment? Concurrent Enrollment?

It sounds like Classical Conversations is more supportive of concurrent enrollment than Dual Enrollment. Is that true?

When talking about college credits for our high school Challenge students, we are often asked to explain the difference between dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment. There is also some confusion about how these models work. We are also asked why we prefer one model over the other. We prefer the Classical Conversations Plus concurrent credit program because it honors our Challenge programs and allows parents to remain the students’ primary mentors and teachers while the student earns college credit.

What is dual enrollment?

Students who are enrolled in “two distinct academic programs or educational institutions” are dually enrolled. Dual enrollment usually refers to students taking college courses on top of being enrolled in high school. Extensive, long-term dual enrollment may be referred to as early college.1 Dual enrollment typically employs the university model of segregated learning, rather than the classical model of integrated learning.


How does dual enrollment work?

The university model basically works in the following manner: the college faculty creates a course, which is designed and described in the course catalog. A course contains five to seven intended learning outcomes (ILOs). The faculty develops a curriculum with texts, reading assignments, and additional resources to achieve the ILOs. The college educator provides instruction to students through lectures, discussions, and mentoring. Learning is assessed by exams, essays projects, or presentations. All course work, the curriculum, the instruction, and the assessment, is created and supported by the college educator2. In dual enrollment, the Challenge student’s dialogue and experiences are isolated from the home and the Challenge community. In the dual enrollment setting, the student’s dialogue and experiences may be very limited, especially if the student takes online courses with no live interaction. This model subverts the parent-teacher authority in a homeschool setting. The college educator assumes responsibility for the teaching and learning outcomes. Dual enrollment classes can be a distraction to the student if they are not related to the student’s Challenge work.


What is concurrent enrollment?

In concurrent enrollment, students earn college credit by working through a high school curriculum that is college-level approved: within in the high school curriculum, designated courses have the five to seven ILOs specified for college level learning. “Students gain exposure to the academic challenges of college while in their supportive high school environment, earning transcripted college credit at the time they successfully pass the course.”3 Concurrent enrollment is significantly different from dual enrollment, because the high school teacher teaches the college courses. This is not a program like AP where tests are used as assessments for a college grade; actual student work is assessed for the college credits.


How does concurrent enrollment work in the Classical Conversations Plus program?

The Classical Conversation Plus College Credit Program uses the concurrent enrollment model. Specific Challenge seminar content and activities have been assessed with the ILOs of specific college level courses, and approved for college level credit by our partner colleges. Our Challenge curriculum with its guide, texts, and resources is used and taught by the parent at home and supported in the community setting in Challenge seminars. This protects and honors Challenge parents in their role as educators, and maintains the classical community standard of dynamic interaction and quality conversations. College educators assess the students’ assignments, essays, exams, projects, and presentations for college credit, keeping the ILOs in mind. These college assessors have at least a Master’s Degree in their field of assessment, and have been approved by the supporting Classical Conversations Plus college partner. The Challenge guides assignments align closely with the college-level syllabus for the corresponding class. (For college credit in some courses, additional modifications are required to meet the college’s ILOs4.)


It is true that Homeschool Counselor supports concurrent enrollment and considers it superior to dual enrollment; our college credit program is an extension for our Challenge Programs! However, first and foremost we support classical, Christian community, and consider the vigorous Challenge programs a great education for high school, and a firm foundation for whatever is next on the horizon.



2 Content from “Definitions-What is a College Course” by Dr. Joseph Childs, view this at HomeschoolCounselor.Net under the Topic Section: College: Early Credits and Enrollment, Posted November 17, 2017, subscription services needed.

3 View the detailed explanation here.

4 Read about the Classical Conversations Plus Program here to learn about the program and cost for college credit. Registrations for Spring Semester are now open.

TIERS: cc+, challenge
CATEGORIES: Classical Christian Education, College and Post Graduation, Rhetoric Stage (ages 14 to 18)

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