Dual High School/College Credit

Students at EVERY Minnesota public high school are eligible to participate in Dual Credit programs. These programs allow qualifying students to earn college credit while still in high school at little or no cost.

Dual Credit programs are a great way for high school students to challenge themselves academically, earn college credit, and save time and money. Eligible high school students can choose to participate in the following dual credit programs: Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), Concurrent Enrollment (CE), Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB).

In addition to the material below, The Center for School Change has published a number of reports about Dual Credit. These include:

PSEO is a statewide program.  Most high schools offer one or more of the Concurrent Enrollment (also known as College in the Schools if done in collaboration with the University of Minnesota), AP, IB and Project Lead the Way courses.  The College Board also operates the College Level Examination Program   (CLEP)  Students may  pay a fee, take one or more of 34 different examinations, and earn credit at some colleges and universities if their score is high enough.

At the request of the Minnesota Legislature, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education studied and has shared dual credit acceptance policies at each Minnesota public and private college and university.  This research helps students and their families understand what grades and/or test scores students must achieve in dual credit classes in order to have the courses accepted for college credit.

Research by the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota College and University System (now called Mn State) shows dramatic differences among students from several major racial and economic groups of students, between the overall group and members of the group who participated in at least one PSEO and/or College in the Schools or Concurrent Enrollment course in high school.  The following research summary identifies a number of studies that show the value of dual credit, ESPECIALLY for students from low income families, students who are potentially first generation college graduates, and students from groups traditionally excluded from participation in these courses.

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The research summary below helps answer a critical question: Does participation in dual credit really have an impact on low income and potentially first generation college student graduation rates in high school and college?  The answer, from studies all over the United States, is strongly, “YES!”  Please see especially first two research studies from University of Iowa and Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Here’s a Dual Credit Comparison Chart.

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People for PSEO is a high school/college student/adult led group that helps share information about PSEO and other forms of dual credit.  The group also has successfully advocated at the Minnesota State Legislature for improvements in PSEO and other dual credit laws.

In a January 2020 meeting with Minnesota Commissioner of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker, People for PSEO vice president Brook LaFloe and  executive director Zeke Jackson joined CSC director Joe Nathan to share research about Minnesota District and Charter Public School information sharing about PSEO.  The Minnesota legislature requires that school districts provide “up to date” information to 8th-11th grade students and their families by March 1, or three weeks before students register for the following year.  CSC research showed that not one of the 95 stratified random sample of districts and charters were providing all of the legislative mandated information.  

After reviewing this research, Commissioner Ricker agreed to revise MDE guidance to educators about PSEO and request that they update materials given to students and families.  Thanks to Commissioner Ricker, and thanks to People for PSEO.

Center for School Change has collaborated for many years with the Progressive Baptist Church and the St.Paul Public Schools om a “Thinking Early College and Career Fair.”  This free event provides opportunities for students and families to talk with college admissions representatives, including representatives of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribally Controlled Colleges, along with predominantly white post-secondary institutions.  The 2020 Fair was held on Saturday, Feb 22, at Harding High School in st Paul.  Hours of the event were 10:30 – 1:30 PM.

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Information below (created by Aaliyah Hodges) from Mn Dept of Education Rigorous Course taking Reports), shows participation Minnesota participation trends in various forms of dual credit programs.

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See all of our Dual High School/College Credit blog posts.

See all of our Dual High School/College Credit pages:

More great resources for students, parents, and educators available on the MN Department of Education’s Dual Credit website at: www.readysetgomn.org


Published September 2013

This edition features student authors from the following St. Paul schools: 
Gordon Parks, Creative Arts, and AGAPE high schools, Higher Ground Academy, Open World Learning Community, and Community of Peace Academy.

4th Edition Jump Start Dual Credit Booklet

This publication was made possible through the generous contributions of the Bremer, Frey, Morning, St. Paul, and Travelers Foundations

Check out all editions of the booklet here

CSC’s Interactive Dual Credit MAP:




Dual Credit Videos:

Music Videos

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Language Specific Videos

 Dual Credit Students Speak Out