REPORT: Dual Credit Students


Experiences and Performance in the BC Post-Secondary System

Prepared for BCCAT by Plaid Consulting
Published April 2020

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Dual credit in BC occurs when credit is granted at both a secondary school and post-secondary institution for completion of a course (FitzGibbon, 2015). With its focus on academic dual credit, this study examines a subset of dual credit programs and follows a 2017 study on dual credit programs that assessed transitions of dual credit students into further post-secondary.

The analysis of provincial Student Transitions Project (STP) data identified 9,317 academic dual credit students in BC public post-secondary institutions for years 2010/11 through 2016/17. The analysis shows that 68% of academic these dual credit students participated in further BC public post-secondary education. Of them, 41% continued to the same PSI where they took the dual credit course, and 27% transitioned to a different PSI. Thompson Rivers University, the University of Victoria, and the University of the Fraser Valley were the institutions with the highest rates of academic dual credit students returning to the same PSI where they were previously enrolled in dual credit course.

Of the dataset that contained 10,524 aggregate records for students who took academic dual credit courses at BC’s public institutions between 2010/11 and 2017/18 academic years, 2,353 students (roughly one in five) completed one or more credentials, most often in business, health or in multiple disciplines.

The 4,146 academic dual credit students who studied at four case-study institutions (Camosun College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, North Island College, and Thompson Rivers University) during the period 2010/11 to 2017/18 were characterised by the following:

  • They tended to take academic dual credit courses in Grades 11 and 12
  • They were predominantly female
  • They tended to have high grades in English 12, and
  • They were typically high academic performers overall.

An online survey of students who completed a dual credit course and continued to one of the four case-study institutions gathered information on the experiences of 727 students. More than half of respondents (56-64% varying by case-study institution) undertook post-secondary programs related to their academic dual credit courses. The student respondents chose academic dual credit courses because they were keen on obtaining post-secondary experience. They identified three most influential motivators for them to take academic dual credit course: high school teachers, someone with dual credit experience, and high school counsellors. When asked for suggestions on how to improve academic dual credit programs, the respondents’ most common answer was “More academic dual credit opportunities”.