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Early College Credit

Completing college courses while in high school


Having the ability to earn college credit while in high school can help students accelerate their academic journey. Some virtual schools have partnered with local and national colleges to offer students early college credit or dual enrollment to allow students to get a head start on their postsecondary pathway. Whether students want to work towards a Bachelor’s degree, earn an Associate degree to begin their professional career, or simply receive exposure to higher education to help them decide their next steps, the opportunity to receive college credit in high school can be incredibly helpful and motivating for students.


Several virtual and hybrid schools have partnered with colleges and universities across the country to offer their students access to college courses. Here are some strategies and recommendations schools have shared about their approach to offering early college credit:

  • Connect with local colleges and universities who offer concurrent enrollment courses and can make them available for high school students.
    • Example: Mountain Heights Academy partners with Utah universities to offer concurrent college credit for eligible high school juniors and seniors to get a head start on their college coursework (especially general math requirements, which is the biggest barrier to college entrance and graduation). Students also have the option to take classes and earn certifications at various technical colleges across the state.

  • Find out if credits are transferable so if a student decides to attend a different college other than the one where they received early college credit, they can still bring their credits with them.
    • Example: Gem Prep Online offers their high school students the ability to earn up to 18 college credits while in high school. The classes that students take will fulfill the required elective courses at any college in Idaho. Students also have the ability to earn an Associate degree by the time they complete high school.

  • Offer additional support to students to help them navigate the enrollment process, manage their schedule, and complete the college application process if they plan on pursuing higher education.
    • Example: Taos Academy created College Link, a direct support program for participating dual credit students in grades 11 and 12. College Link advisors help students with creating a personalized schedule and meeting academic requirements for both high school and college.

  • Share all key information with families so they can help their students decide if they would like to pursue early college credit.

Strategy Resources

Family Information Video on Early College Credit

My Tech High created an Informational video to share with families that describes the options... Learn More