Data Story

Dual Credit Data Story

Hawaiʻi’s Public Investment in Increasing College Access and Success

Published: December 2021
Sectors: K–12 Postsecondary

Dual Credit programs allow high school students to enroll in college classes and earn credit toward high school graduation and a college degree. By exposing participants to college coursework, Dual Credit programs ease the transition to college, particularly for traditionally underrepresented students. These programs aim to increase the rate of college-going and successful college attainment for all participants.

This data story illustrates the Dual Credit journey of Hawaiʻi public schools.

A Brief History

Pre-Early College

Prior to 2011-2012
The main Dual Credit opportunity was the Running Start program, in which students enrolled at University of Hawaiʻi (UH) campuses alongside regularly-enrolled students and earned both high school and college credit.

Early College Pilot

The Early College program was created allowing students to take UH classes at their high school campus. This addressed transportation, scheduling, and financial barriers that prevented students from taking college classes.

Early College Expansion

After 2017
Funding from the Hawaiʻi State Legislature supported the continued expansion of the Early College Program for public schools.

Explore this data story


How have Dual Credit programs expanded in Hawaiʻi over the last decade?

Dual Credit opportunities have greatly expanded thanks to public investment in Early College.


Dual Credit participation among public high school students increased five times in the last 10 years.


Public high schools with Early College classes increased to 49 schools since 2010-2011.


The number of unique Dual Credit courses taken by public high school students per school has increased 47% since 2010-2011.

RankCourse# Enrolled
1ENGLISH 1001,390
3SPEECH 151639
4HISTORY 151297
7MATH 103232
10MATH 100136
335 Other Courses4,737

Statewide Participation

Dual Credit programs have expanded to benefit students across the entire State of Hawai‘i.

Note: Tap or click on the arrows to toggle the years 2010–2011 and 2019–2020.


828 public school students participated in Dual Credit programs, representing 1.6% of public school students in Grades 9-12.


4,427 public school students participated in Dual Credit programs, representing 8.8% of public school students in Grades 9–12.

UH Campus

Public High School Students Served

NOTE: No bar indicates that data are suppressed (< 10 students).


To what degree have Dual Credit programs reached Hawaiʻi’s diverse student population?

Hawaiʻi’s public high schools serve a diverse student body.

NOTE: Graphs in this section show the statewide percentage of Dual Credit participants as a reference.
The sub-group(s) whose percent is above the statewide line indicate that the population is over-represented relative to the other sub-group(s).


While males makes up 52% of public high schoolers, females are two times more likely than males to participate.


There are racial differences in participation, but growth has been strongest among those underrepresented in higher education, which includes Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos.

NOTE: Use your cursor to hover over the different ethnic groups to see the change over time.

Growth Rates by Race/Ethnicity

Economically Disadvantaged

While more than 40% of public school high school students are economically disadvantaged, participation has grown faster for non-disadvantaged students.

English Learners (EL)

ELs make up under 10% of public school students. EL participation grew seven times from 2010-2011 to 2019-2020.

NOTE: Values for 2010-11 and 2011-12 are suppressed due to small counts.


Are Dual Credit participants in Hawaiʻi more likely to attend and successfully complete college?


The portion of public high school graduates participating in Dual Credit increased from 5% of the Class of 2011 to 22% of the Class of 2020.

Graduates First Fall College Enrollment Rate

Historically, the portion of public high school graduates attending college the first fall after graduation is about 80% for Dual Credit graduates compared to about 50% for Non Dual Credit graduates.

NOTE: Class of 2020 was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

College Enrollment

Graduates participating in Dual Credit are more likely than non-participants to attend college at an UH campus or on the mainland.

Campuses Attended

Dual Credit Participants
Public High School Class of 2020
UH Campuses Attended%
UH Mānoa14%
Leeward Community College6%
Kapiʻolani Community College4%
Kauaʻi Community College4%
Maui College4%
UH Hilo4%
Hawaiʻi Community College3%
UH West Oʻahu3%
Honolulu Community College2%
Windward Community College2%
BOLD – UH 4 Year Campuses
Dual Credit Non-Participants
Public High School Class of 2020
UH Campuses Attended%
UH Mānoa6%
Kapiʻolani Community College5%
Leeward Community College5%
Maui College3%
Hawaiʻi Community College2%
Honolulu Community College2%
UH Hilo2%
Kauaʻi Community College1%
UH West Oʻahu1%
Windward Community College1%
BOLD – UH 4 Year Campuses

Enrollment and Completion

Public high school graduates participating in Dual Credit are more likely than non-participants to ever enroll in college and earn a college award.

NOTE: These values are for all graduating classes pooled together.

Enrollment within 6 years

The portion of graduates that enrolled in college within 6 years of completing high school is 90% for Dual Credit graduates compared to 68% for Non Dual Credit graduates.

College Award

The portion of graduates that earned a college degree or certificate within 6 years of completing high school is 56% for Dual Credit graduates compared to 30% for Non Dual Credit graduates.

Key Findings

  • Expansion

    Dual credit opportunities have expanded widely across the state. While expansion efforts may continue in the coming years, a concerted effort will be made to strengthen the overall early college experience, including increased attention to intentional dual credit programming and college and career counseling/advising that supports students in pursuing their college and career goals.

  • Impact

    Students who participate in dual credit opportunities have significantly higher rates of college enrollment, persistence, and degree completion. Further analysis is needed to understand the impact of dual credit participation on students who may not initially see themselves as “college bound” and to examine the factors that lead to dual credit participants not enrolling in college after high school graduation.

  • Underrepresented Students

    Dual credit participation rates by students from underrepresented populations has been increasing. Future work will explore how to employ recruitment strategies and support services to ensure that males, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, EL, and economically disadvantaged students have equitable access to and greater probabilities of success in dual credit programs.

  • Academic Readiness

    Academic preparation is particularly important in fostering equitable participation in dual credit opportunities. Further discussion and collaborative work between secondary and postsecondary partners should occur to ensure that more students, particularly those from underrepresented populations, are ready for the rigors of college coursework.

Note: Due to the different student matching process that DXP uses, Dual Credit participant numbers in this Dual Credit data story may not completely align to individual UH or HIDOE reports.

The creation of this data story was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant 84.372A (Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems) to the Hawai‘i State Department of Education. The opinions expressed are those of Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.