Dual Enrollment Handbook for Current Students and Their Parents

Understanding Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment, as the California Community College Chancellor’s Office asserts, should be considered by colleges and K-12 districts alike as a student success strategy to increase college access and success for more students. A misperception is that the intended student population for dual enrollment is those already considered to be part of the college going student population, an alternative to Advanced Placement courses.

Research indicates that strategically planned dual enrollment pathways are particularly beneficial for students who might not have otherwise considered themselves as candidates for higher education. By intentionally seeking representation from students historically underrepresented in higher education, dual enrollment becomes a key strategy to reduce and potentially close gaps in access and completion for student populations that are disproportionately underrepresented in colleges across the state.

Fresno City College through the Office of Early College forms a partnership with local K-12 districts that enables high school students to take college courses at their high school, free of tuition. High school students can be awarded both college credit and high school credit for the single course.

Through this partnership, dual enrollment provides students with the opportunity to get a head start on their college education, to save time and money, and to experience the rigors of college coursework with support from the high schools and community college.

Mission Statement of the Office of Early College

Creating intentional, supported pathways for high school students, bridging K-12 to higher education and gainful employment

Vision Statement of the Office of Early College

Providing equitable higher educational opportunities for all high school students

Dual enrollment is a high impact tool to increase the college-going culture for more students on both high school campuses and community college campuses. UC Davis Wheelhouse’s recent publication, “A Foot in the Door: Growth in Participation and Equity in Dual Enrollment in California,” asserts that dual enrollment programs are indeed effective for a broad range of students. In fact, when compared to regular college students, dual enrollment students show statistically significant gains in the following areas:

  • Increased high school graduation rates

  • Increased enrollment in higher education

  • Increased retention in higher education

  • Increased completion rates in higher education.

For many students, participation in dual enrollment eases the transition from high school to college by giving students a sense of what college academics are like in a supported environment. Dual enrollment is a cost-efficient way for students to accumulate college credits because courses are taken at no cost to the student through the local high schools.

Dual enrollment is an opportunity to take challenging courses and accelerate educational opportunities. Students who successfully complete dual enrollment courses receive many benefits. However, there are some possible disadvantages that all students must consider before enrolling in a dual enrollment class:

  • Dual enrollment courses become part of students’ permanent college transcripts; if students fail, these grades could affect eligibility for financial aid and admission to other postsecondary institutions.

  • Dual enrollment classes receive college and high school credits. If students fail one of these classes, it will negatively affect both their high school and college transcripts.

  • If students need additional support to complete regular general education high school classes, adding the additional rigor of the college class may not be the best choice for them at that time.

Fresno City College partners with many different school districts throughout the Central Valley, and each high school has its own dual enrollment pathways for its students developed with Fresno City College.
Common pathways include transfer pathways with general education courses in addition to a wide variety of Career Technical Education pathways that range from business, education, construction, medical and sport sciences, and industrial technology pathways.

Interested students should check with their high school counselors, and a list of pathway partnerships and high school contacts are available on Fresno City College’s Dual Enrollment

Resources Available For Dual Enrollment Students

Fresno City College’s mission is to provide “access to equity-centered, quality, innovative educational programs and support services” to all of its students, including dual enrollment students. There are a number of resources dual enrollment students can and should take advantage of, both at their own high schools and through Fresno City College.

Many local high schools have options on their sites for students to take advantage of, including the use of virtual help through Tutor.com and California Teaching Fellows after school hours on their campus. Students can check with their counselors for options at their high schools.

Fresno City College has several tutoring options as well, for dual enrollment students. Many instructors have embedded in their Canvas shell Net-Tutor, a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week online tutoring service. Students can also access Net-Tutor through the Virtual Hub for Students. Both in-person and online tutoring is available through Fresno City College’s Tutorial Center, including weekday evening hours and weekend hours, for a large variety of subjects. There are also separate Math Support and English Support Centers.

The best way to access SCCCD email, Single Sign-On, and Canvas, the college’s main Learning Management System, is to follow these Technology Help instructions through My Portal, which should be accessed through the main Fresno City College webpage. The Technology Help webpage also lists several help desk numbers for additional support.

Students accessing My Portal for the first time will use these instructions for logging on:
Username: Students can log in using their seven-digit SCCCD ID number for the username. The password will be the same one students use for email, Canvas, Web Advisor, and Wi-Fi.

Initial Password: First name initial (upper case) + last name initial (lowercase) + date of birth (mmddyy). Example: Juan Soto born on July 9th of 1998 password=Js070988

Getting Help with Canvas: Students should be enroll in the Canvas “course” through Virtual Hub for Students to gain access to many resources, including tips and short videos for how to use Canvas, and access to many student resources available to dual enrollment students such as the Career and Employment Center and Net-Tutor.

Starfish is a platform that guides students to a collection of support resources at Fresno City College. Students access Starfish through their college MyPortal. If the link does not come up in the Dashboard, search the Apps Catalog. Click Starfish to open the app and expand the menu from the top left corner of the screen (the three vertical lines). 

High school students have access to computer labs at their high school, in addition to access at the Fresno County Public Library. Fresno City College has computer labs open on a variety of days and times. Located inside the Learning Resource Center and Library, the computer labs provide access to a wide range of software applications in support of students' academic goals.

High school students are encouraged to work closely with their high school counselors in order to ensure they are meeting requirements for graduating from high school. Fresno City College has dual enrollment counselors who provide comprehensive pathway support to help dual enrollment students achieve a successful college experience in the approved pathways. 

The mission of Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) is to create an accessible, inclusive campus environment using holistic, comprehensive, strategic services to empower students with disabilities and provide them access to pursue their academic, personal, and vocational goals. Answers to frequently asked questions, including differences between high school and college for students with disabilities, are available at DSPS Transition to College with discussion of the following topics:

  • applicable laws
  • required documentation
  • self-advocacy
  • parental role
  • instruction
  • grades and tests
  • study responsibilities

A high school IEP or 504 plan alone does not determine eligibility to receive academic accommodations in community college courses.

To become eligible for academic accommodations in a college course, dual enrollment students must follow these steps:

  1. Self-identify as a student with a disability
  2. Apply to the college DSPS program through the AIM Student Portal
  3. Upload a copy of their most recent IEP/Psychological or 504 plan (including diagnosis)
  4. Request accommodations at Accommodations and Services
  5. Meet with a DSPS counselor to develop an Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP)
  6. Email a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) of agreed upon accommodations to their college course instructor(s) though their AIM Student Portal.

Please contact Stephanie Salazar for any questions or support with the DSPS application at 559.442.8237 or stephanie.salazar@fresnocitycollege.edu

Dual enrollment students can use their high school library facilities, and they are also highly encouraged to use the wealth of resources available to them through the Fresno City College Library, where students can chat with a librarian 24/7, receive technology loans, utilize a repository of clear resources that can be accessed in person and online, including a large number of online research databases, citation and plagiarism help, and many short video tutorials.

Dual enrollment students can access the Career and Employment Center, which offers services similar to those that may be available at their high schools: workshops associated with the job search process, career interest inventories and career fairs. The Center is open Monday through Friday, 8am–5pm, and students are encouraged to call ahead to confirm.

Upward Bound is a program aimed at encouraging low-income and first-generation students to pursue college. Many dual enrollment students would qualify for this supportive program.