Best Practices for Implementing Dual Enrollment Programs

Monday 12-2:30pm PT / 1-3:30pm MT / 2-4:30pm CT / 3-5:30pm ET Online
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Joel Johnson, The University of Texas at Austin
Kathy Ellins, The University of Texas at Austin

Dual enrollment college courses for high school students have great potential to expand geoscience education, to ease students into college rigor and improve college outcomes, and to attract students from underrepresented groups to study geosciences in college. Because they are also challenging to structure and develop, our workshop will explore best practices for implementing dual enrollment college courses. The conveners' experience with UT Austin's OnRamps dual enrollment geoscience course (Earth, Wind and Fire) will be the basis for discussing learning goals, curriculum development, course structure, course delivery systems, assessments, academic integrity, teacher training and support, recruitment strategies, and successful partnerships between institutions of higher education and secondary school systems. Workshop participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and concerns, leading to a collectively-developed list of recommendations for designing and implementing dual enrollment and distance education courses. We encourage anyone interested in expanding connections between secondary and college-level geoscience education to attend.

All mini-workshops will take place online, via Zoom (unless otherwise noted). Participants will be sent links to the Zoom room and connection info will be posted below prior to the session start.

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Session Connection Info

This session has ended.


During this workshop, participants will:

  1. Consider ways that dual enrollment courses can be structured and implemented
  2. Explore opportunities and challenges associated with dual enrollment courses
  3. Create a set of recommendations for designing, implementing and sustaining a dual enrollment class
  4. Learn how to access resources that can be used to develop course content for dual enrollment courses
  5. Connect with educators interested in dual enrollment courses


(Program starts at 12pm PT / 1pm MT / 2pm CT / 3pm ET; times below are represented as hour:minute to standardize among time zones)

00:00 Welcome and discussion of goals

  • Facilitator introductions
  • How to use the SERC website for the workshop
  • Participants share their goals for the workshop and interest in dual enrollment courses
  • Scribe captures most salient points in workshop workspace

00:20 Presentation: OnRamps Earth, Wind and Fire dual enrollment course

  • Motivation (why), course structure & technology (how), curriculum & pedagogy (what), demographics (who)

00:35 Gallery walk: Participants brainstorm dual enrollment (1) value to students, (2) value to educators (faculty, secondary teachers, institutions), (3) teaching opportunities, (4) challenges, and (5) interest/questions/experiences.

00:40 Small group discussions of gallery walk (breakout rooms)

00:48 Whole-group discussion of gallery walk (scribe captures salient points)

00:55 Example assignment: Developing a curriculum; connecting to standards (e.g. NGSS). The "big ideas" of the OnRamps Geoscience course are:

  1. How the Solid Earth Functions: The Earth as a system, plate tectonics, the rock record, geologic time, geologic hazards
  2. How the Fluid Earth Functions: Water cycle, groundwater, rivers, ocean and atmospheric circulation, climate, climate change, feedback loops
  3. How Humans Interact with Earth: Earth resources, sustainability, stewardship, scientific debate and discussion
  4. How Life on Earth Evolved: Earth and life origins, change through time, extinction, population growth theory

01:05 High school teacher perspectives, + Q&A

01:25 Access and use of resources for interdisciplinary teaching



01:30 Action Planning: Small group development of recommendations for designing, implementing, teaching, and sustaining a dual enrollment class.

Please use action_plan_template.EER 2020DualEnrollment_Courses.doc (Microsoft Word 28kB Jul8 20)

01:50 Action Planning: Round-robin reporting and whole-group development of recommendations for designing, implementing and sustaining a dual enrollment class (scribe captures salient points)

02:10 PM Wrap-up, more Q&A

02:15 PM workshop evaluation

02:30 Adjourn

Additional Resources