On May 17, 15 of the graduates receiving their credentials at Delgado Community College’s Spring Commencement will also be graduating from high school this spring, from either Warren Easton Charter High School or Grace King High School.
They are enrolled at Delgado through the college’s Dual Enrollment program, which enables high school students to take courses for college credit, preparing them to enter the workforce or to continue their studies at Delgado or other higher education institutions and earn a degree.
The 15 Dual Enrollment graduates have earned certificates in either the residential electrical program or the medical registration specialist program, one of several CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs pursued by Dual Enrollment students at the college. The credential they will receive is the CTS: Certificate of Technical Studies which is awarded upon completion of a course of study designed to prepare students for immediate employment or career entry.
Research shows that dual enrollment students who focus on earning a technical certificate are more likely to graduate high school by twenty-one percentage points compared to otherwise similar students.
Dual enrollment students are also more likely to enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages. They are just as likely as their peers to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
In fact, of the 536 students who enrolled in Dual Enrollment at Delgado this spring, many are taking courses specifically to prepare for transfer to a four-year institution. These are the same general education courses taken by all Delgado students who earn an associate’s degree.
One of the graduating students, Alyleen Brown of Grace King High School, said that her dual enrollment experience at Delgado was “helpful and useful.”
“It got me ahead of the game,” Brown said.
“We are extremely proud of the students who have shown the drive and determination to complete the dual enrollment requirements,” said Alexina Medley, principal and CEO of Warren Easton Charter High School.
“Our partnership with Delgado has been very successful. The joint effort between our organizations gives our students another pathway to continue to achieve and succeed,” Medley said.
End of the spring semester reports indicate that 25% of the students who enrolled in 780 courses at Delgado were enrolled in two or more courses. Of those who completed classes this semester, 75% passed with a “C” or higher. Further, the program realized a 95% retention rate this semester.
While research shows the dual enrollment experience provides the greatest boost to the kids who need it most: boys, and students from low-income families, it is appropriate for students of all backgrounds and ability levels, says Shaun M. Dougherty of the University of Connecticut who notes that the experience encourages students to consider their career goals in high school: “Early on they must consider whether their desired career pathways can be achieved through high school, or whether they need a two-year degree or certificate, or a four-year college program—and whether any of the requisite postsecondary coursework can be completed in high school.”
Dual enrollment students at Delgado are in good hands. Delgado is ranked by Community College Week among the Top 10 community colleges nationally for the number of two-year career certification credentials awarded: 1,537. Also, Delgado is among the Top 100 community colleges nationwide for one-year career certificates awarded: 918.
Dual Enrollment students graduating from Delgado Community College on May 17, 2016.