North Douglas High School (NDHS) in Drain, Oregon, is like the Burger King of dual credit courses - students really can "have it their way." Partnering with Umpqua Community College (UCC) and Yoncalla High School, eligible students can take Extended Options UCC courses - available online or on campus and taught by college staff - as well as College Now/Dual Credit courses offered at one of the high schools and taught by regular teachers. The flexibility of this programming allows students to gain both high school and college credit in courses ranging from math to French to computer science to writing - a boon to the small school that might not otherwise be able to offer such far-reaching electives.
Research suggests that allowing students in high school to complete even a single college class could significantly increase their chances of attending college and eventually graduating.
At the end of the 2011-12 school year, 44% of NDHS high school students had at least one college credit, with one senior graduating with 32 credits from all of the dual enrollment classes taken over 4 years.
GEAR UP coordinator Janon Rogers remarked on the powerful motivation of the classes. “One student has changed his attitude about school generally. He even got his hair cut, because he was a ‘college student’ now, and needed to look the part!”