Policy & Collaboration

College Credit while in High School

Educational experiences that provide high school students with the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school are known in Oregon as “accelerated learning” programs.

Students participating in accelerated learning are usually starting on a pathway to a college degree or certificate. These programs aim to provide seamless bridges that support and encourage a college-going culture and reduce gaps in college access and academic achievement. They can smooth the transition into a college or university by enabling high school students to successfully earn college credit and better prepare for postsecondary expectations.

Forms of Accelerated Learning in Oregon

Dual Credit courses
In Dual Credit courses, the high school teacher is qualified to act as a proxy faculty member for the college or university when teaching the course. These courses are sufficiently similar to enable the student to be described as “taking a course” from the postsecondary institution. Through ORS 340.310, HECC was charged with developing standards for dual credit and other high school based college credit partnership programs.
Sponsored Dual C​redit
In Sponsored Dual C​redit courses, a high school teacher partners with a sponsoring faculty member at a college or university to offer the course. ​These courses are sufficiently similar to enable the student to be described as “taking a course” from the postsecondary institution. Through ORS 340.310, HECC was charged with developing standards for these programs.
​Assessment Based Learning Credit
In Assessment Based Learning Credit, students do not enroll in a college course but are provided an opportunity to earn college credit by demonstrating they have achieved a course’s learning outcomes. Through ORS 340.310, HECC was charged with developing standards for these programs.
Advanced Placement (AP) and Int​ernational Baccalaureate (IB) programs
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs are offered by high schools across the state. Each year, colleges and universities in Oregon renew the Statewide AP and IB Course Credit Policy for these courses, and the HECC coordinates with Oregon campuses on making and publishing these updates.
Expanded Options programs
Expanded Options programs established by school districts provide opportunities for at-risk students to take courses at eligible postsecondary institutions. In 2005, Senate Bill 300 created the Expanded Options program to provide eligible high school students early entry into post-secondary education, with specific provisions and supports for at-risk students.
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Accelerated Learning Policies and Standards 

Current policies are listed below.

In 2016, The HECC will be working with the Oversight Committee for High School-Based College Credit Partnerships to develop a peer review process for HECC approval of Dual Credit, Sponsored Dual Credit, and Assessment-based Learning programs.​ ​​​

For More Information

Recommended Partner Resources