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Education for a better job, a better life, a better future

Dual Enrollment

Get a head start on your education

Dual Enrollment programs provide high school students a unique opportunity to jump-start their college career.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, college credits earned prior to high school graduation reduce the average time-to-degree and increase the likelihood of graduation. For parents, it is a chance to reduce future college expenses by shortening the time to college graduation. 

For information about dual enrollment courses offered by Virginia's Community Colleges, please email the appropriate community college Dual Enrollment Contact.

About Dual Enrollment Programs

Dual enrollment allows qualified high school students to enroll in college coursework while still in high school.

  • Admissions requirements reflect admissions standards at the college – students must take the college placement exam.
  • Courses are taught by full or part-time faculty who meet VCCS credentialing requirements.
  • Courses follow a community college course outline, include the same content as campus-based courses and use standard college textbooks.
  • Credit for dual enrollment courses is generally accepted at all Virginia private and public colleges.  Students should contact their four-year transfer institution to discuss the applicability of dual enrollment coursework.

Advantages of Dual Enrollment

  • Provides college-level instruction to high school students.
  • Accelerates a student’s college career and provides quality, affordable education close to home.
  • Enriches the course opportunities for outstanding high school students both in academic coursework and in career and technical education.
  • Students enter college with credits applicable to their degree program.
  • Students gain understanding of the rigor of college work as well as college faculty expectations.
  • Provides access to college resources, facilities and services such as advising and career counseling.

Who is Eligible for Dual Enrollment Programs?

Dual enrollment courses are college courses. Students should understand that the amount of work necessary to succeed in dual enrollment courses is greater than in high school courses. In addition, dual enrollment courses become a part of a student's permanent college transcript. It is important to do well in these courses to realize all the benefits of dual enrollment.  Student must meet the following criteria to be eligible for dual enrollment programs:

  • High school juniors or seniors attending a public or private school are eligible to enroll in dual enrollment courses. Exceptional freshman and sophomores may be eligible with approval by both high school principal and college president.
  • All dual enrollment students, both academic and career and technical, must meet college placement requirements.
  • Students must receive a recommendation by high school official.
  • Parents must provide consent prior to student enrollment.
  • Home schooled students are also eligible. Students should contact their local community college to discuss options.

If you have questions, please contact

PHCC Dual Enrollment Students
16 high school students graduated from Patrick Henry Community College and transferred to a four-year college at virtually the same time they received their high school diploma

Dual Enrollment Resources


VCCS College Dual Enrollment Contacts

Virginia Plan for Dual Enrollment
with Virginia Department of Education

National Dual Enrollment Research Studies






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