Dual credit programs are cost-effective ways for students to earn college credit while in high school, and studies show they increase college enrollment, on-time graduation, and help expose students to career possibilities.
Are you looking for information about strategies, statistics and practices? Check out CPE's dual credit resources page.
Kentucky's 2030 Dual Credit Attainment Goal
The first of its kind nationally, Kentucky’s Dual Credit Attainment Goal emphasizes the importance of access to dual credit for all underserved populations. It creates expectations for the level of dual credit access students should have, sets aspirational participation and success levels for Kentucky, and sets aspirational participation and success levels for specific populations of students.
50% of Kentucky high school students should graduate high school having completed at least one dual credit course with a qualifying grade of a C or higher.
Dual Credit Defined
A dual credit course allows a student to earn high school credit and college credit simultaneously. This course may be taught on a college campus or at a high school, but it will be associated with a college or university.
To qualify for the program, courses must comply with KRS 158.007(8) which defines dual credit as
"...a college-level course of study developed in accordance with KRS 164.098 in which a high school student receives credit from both the high school and postsecondary institution in which the student is enrolled upon completion of a single class or designated program of study."
To learn which Kentucky colleges offer dual credit courses in high schools, visit KHEAA's website.
Dual Credit Differentiators
These courses differ from standard dual credit courses:
- Dual Enrollment is when a student is enrolled in high school and a college at the same time, but is only earning college (not high school) credit for certain courses.
- Advanced Placement (AP) courses are rigorous study (or honors) courses offered for high school credit but require passing a separate test to earn college credit. The amount of college credit earned depends on the resulting test score. To learn more about AP courses, visit KDE's website or The College Board.
- The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a complete program of study that may contain AP courses. This diploma program is usually of interest to students who plan to attend Ivy League or international colleges. To learn more about IB, visit KDE's website or the International Baccalaureate website.
Dual Credit Admissions
To participate in a dual credit program, high school students must have an unweighted, cumulative high school GPA of 2.5. Once admitted, they must meet the college's minimum GPA requirement to remain enrolled. To take in dual credit courses, they must meet a course's prerequisites, if any.
Dual Credit Courses Transfer
As set in the dual credit policy, Kentucky's colleges and universities must recognize courses that meet general education requirements set in the transfer policy. Career and technical courses must meet certain learning outcomes and program requirements in order to transfer. For more information, consult the Council's dual credit policy.
- 2023 Revision: Dual Credit Policy for Kentucky Public and Participating Postsecondary Institutions and Secondary Schools
Why Dual Credit Is a Priority
Studies show that dual credit programs increase the chances of college enrollment, on-time graduation, as well as reducing college costs. Dual credit programs also expose students to many career possibilities prior to college, helping refine major and degree program selection.
The Council's Data Studies
The Council conducts research on dual credit regularly. Our studies show that dual credit experiences are a good predictor of academic success in college, among other advantages. However, outcomes vary based on race, gender and income.
- Dual Credit and Student Success: The Effect of High School Dual Credit on Educational Outcomes at KCTCS
- Dual Credit and Student Success: The Effect of High School Dual Credit on Educational Outcomes at Kentucky's Public Universities
Our Interactive Data
The Council's Role
The Council, with other education and legislative leadership, coordinates the statewide Dual Credit Advisory Council, which promotes best practices and monitors each program's quality, growth and success.
Also, the Council works with other education and community partners to provide training programs for teachers and school leadership. These programs help prepare K-12 teachers for the offering and teaching of dual credit courses.
Guiding and Related Legislation
- KRS 160.348 - Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Dual Enrollment, and Dual Credit Courses
- KRS 164.098 - Duties of Council on Postsecondary Education relating to advanced placement, dual enrollment, and dual credit programs
Dual Credit Scholarship
Dual credit courses are a great way for students to save on college tuition, especially when utilizing dual credit scholarships, which are available to juniors and seniors in Kentucky public or private high schools or are participating in comparable home school programs.
Kentucky's Dual Credit Scholarship Program allows Kentucky students to take up to two eligible courses for free. Scholarships are administered by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. More information can be found on their website.
For more information
For more information about implementation of dual credit programs on Kentucky's public campuses, use the contacts listed below.
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Kentucky Community and Technical College System
- Kentucky State University
- Morehead State University
- Murray State University
270-809-2159 or 800-669-7654
- Northern Kentucky University
- University of Kentucky
Associate Provost for Student and Academic Life
- University of Louisville
- Western Kentucky University
Last Updated: 5/12/2023