Students earn college credit while in high school in a variety of ways including direct enrollment on campus or online as well as dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes at the high school. Collectively, these strategies are also known in Oregon as accelerated learning.
Studies have shown that students who participate in rigorous classes are more likely to access and succeed in higher education. A recent study by Education Northwest found that Oregon students who earned college credit in high school were more likely to graduate from high school as well as enroll and persist in college.
Using data from Education Northwest, our external evaluator, Metis Associates, found that from 2013-14 to 2016-17 (the latest year with available data), there has been an increase in the percentage of Oregon GEAR UP students taking college credit courses in high school, most notably in the area of dual credit enrollment.
Especially noteworthy is the increase in middle-achieving students taking college credit courses. "Oregon GEAR UP middle-achieving students (who scored in the 26th to 75th percentile on the state math and reading assessments) typically experienced larger percent increases than their higher-achieving peers, and students statewide," said Julia Alemany, Senior Associate with Metis.
Several schools saw significant jumps in the number of students taking college credit classes, including Oakridge Junior/Senior High School (47%) and Dayton Junior/Senior High School (33%). North Douglas High School had a 22% increase over 4 years in students accessing direct enrollment and dual credit options. Klamath Union High School saw a similar increase as a result of their career pathways programs designed with Oregon Institute of Technology and Klamath Community College.