WHAT IS A DUAL CREDIT COURSE?
Dual credit courses are college courses taken for both high school and college credit by students who have not yet completed their HS Diploma or GED. The courses need to be approved by both the high school and the college where you want to take courses, so check with your high school counselor or administrator first.
WHAT COURSES CAN I TAKE FOR DUAL CREDIT?
Courses must be able to apply toward a postsecondary degree or certificate program. Remedial and developmental courses at the college may not be taken for dual credit, since they do not count toward a degree or certificate program.
PE activity classes are specifically not eligible for dual credit. However, there may be classes taught by the college or university that are in the Physical Education department that are not considered activity classes like Nutrition or Sports Management. Always check with your high school counselor to see if any non-activity PE classes you are interested in are restricted, but remember classes like Yoga, Basketball, and Weight Lifting are not allowed for dual credit.
HOW IS DUAL CREDIT DIFFERENT FROM CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT?
There are a few differences. Bureau or Indian Education (BIE)-funded, homeschool, private and public school* dual credit students do not pay tuition at the postsecondary public college or university. Dual credit courses also guarantee both high school and college credit upon successful completion. Concurrent enrollment, by contrast, may result in a student earning college credit while in high school, but does not result in a student earning high school credits. In some cases, your high school might give you high school credit for concurrent enrollment college classes that you pay for on your own, but do not assume they will. Check with your high school counselor or administrator.
WHAT DOES IT COST ME TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEW MEXICO DUAL CREDIT PROGRAM?
Nothing to very little. Public colleges, universities, and some tribal colleges have agreed to waive tuition and general fees. Your high school will provide textbooks and most course supplies. You and your family will be responsible for special course fees and possibly, transportation (students may ride on secondary school buses if the dual credit course takes place during regular school hours and the high school is able to provide the transportation). You can get more specific cost information from your high school counselor or administrator.
HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT COURSES ARE OFFERED AT MY HIGH SCHOOL OR LOCAL COLLEGE?
Ask your high school counselor or administrator. Almost all high schools have at least one dual credit Master Agreement with a public college, university, or tribal college. Approved course lists are included in the Master Agreement between your school district and one or more postsecondary institutions. The course list is referred to as the “Appendix” and many are available on the PED-dual credit website.
Visit the PED-dual credit website. In some cases, you may be able to take the course online.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER TAKING DUAL CREDIT COURSES?
There are several reasons. First, you gain exposure to the experience of college while still in high school to help you get a head start determining what you want out of college. Another good reason is you can get some college credits without spending any money or using any financial aid. Lastly, you may feel your high school courses are not sufficiently challenging; the New Mexico dual credit Program can allow you to try more difficult coursework.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM ELIGIBLE TO TAKE DUAL CREDIT COURSES?
All students who have not yet received their High School Diploma or GED are eligible. You must be enrolled at your high school in one-half or more of the minimum course requirements approved by the New Mexico Public Education Department or if enrolled in a BIE-funded high school you must be receiving at least three documented contact hours per day. You also have to meet the eligibility requirements for New Mexico dual credit Program participation established by your high school and the postsecondary institution. Check with your high school counselor or administrator for more information.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO ENROLL IN DUAL CREDIT COURSES?
Work with your high school counselor or administrator to complete and sign a dual credit Request Form and have the college or university dual credit Coordinator and (if you are under 18) your parent approve it.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM READY TO TAKE DUAL CREDIT COURSES?
Talk to your high school counselor or teacher so he/she can help you determine if you will benefit from taking dual credit courses. Use your Next Step Plan (NSP) or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as a road map to help guide you on whether you choose dual credit courses as an option. Students must take at least one honors, or Advanced Placement, or dual credit, or distance learning course to graduate from high school.
Work with your counselor to determine if dual credit coursework is a good option for you and to determine that you meet both your high school and the postsecondary school dual credit eligibility requirements.
HOW MANY CLASSES CAN I/SHOULD I TAKE?
This depends on your interests, your NSP or IEP, your prior coursework at the high school level, career pathway, and your readiness for college courses. Keep in mind that college coursework will be more challenging and demanding of your skills as a student. You must also remain enrolled in one-half or more of the minimum course requirements at your high school. Also remember that you are personally responsible for following both high school and college calendars if you choose to participate in the New Mexico dual credit Program.
Be sure to work with your counselor or school administrator to schedule your dual credit course load realistically to ensure a positive and successful experience.
WHAT IF THE DUAL CREDIT COURSE IS TOO DIFFICULT?
Keep in close contact with your high school counselor (or administrator) and college academic advisor the first few weeks of the class. Each college or university publishes deadlines to drop, add or withdraw from college courses, and you must keep those dates in mind if you wish to drop a course. But remember, if you drop, withdraw from, or fail a dual credit course, you still have to make up the high school graduation credit or requirement. If you think the class is too difficult, talk with your high school counselor as soon as possible.
WILL THE GRADES I RECEIVE IN A DUAL CREDIT COURSE APPEAR ON MY HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT?
Grades will appear on both your high school and college transcripts, which are permanent records.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO MY DUAL CREDIT CLASS IF HIGH SCHOOL CLASSES ARE CANCELLED OR THE HIGH SCHOOL IS HAVING A DAY OFF DUE TO AN IN-SERVICE OR VACATION?
Each student participating in the New Mexico dual credit Program must observe both high school and college calendars. So, even if your high school has the day off, you still have to attend your college class if it is scheduled.
WHEN CAN I TAKE DUAL CREDIT COURSES?
As long as you are enrolled in one-half or more of the minimum course requirements at your high school during the fall and winter semesters, any BIE-funded, homeschool, private or public high school* student can take dual credit courses year-round. You must also meet eligibility requirements at both your high school and the college.
WILL DUAL CREDIT AFFECT MY FUTURE ELIGIBILITY FOR THE NEW MEXICO LOTTERY SUCCESS SCHOLARSHIP?
Taking dual credit courses does not prevent students from being eligible for the Legislative Lottery Scholarship. A New Mexico student must obtain a New Mexico high school diploma or New Mexico general education development (GED) diploma, enroll full-time with 12 credit hours or more at an eligible New Mexico public college or university, and maintain a 2.50 GPA or above during the student’s first academic semester in college to be eligible for the Legislative Lottery Scholarship. When filling out the college admissions applications, a student must indicate they are a “first time freshman”. This is done regardless of previous college credit.
WILL THE CREDIT I AM EARNING THROUGH DUAL CREDIT TRANSFER TO OTHER COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES?
The Postsecondary Education Articulation Act of 1978 specifies a core of general education courses that, if taken at any New Mexico public college or university, will transfer to any other New Mexico public college or university. However, courses not part of this core that are obtained at a two year college may not transfer to a four year university, especially if the course was specific to a vocational or degree certificate program. Additionally, while approved general education courses transfer, they may not count (articulate) toward a degree at a four-year institution. In these cases, students are awarded elective credit.
*“Public school” means New Mexico public, charter, and state-supported schools.