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Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Strategies

This page describes the pertinent statutes that concern Early College High Schools (ECHS) and Middle College High Schools (MCHS) and how these enrollment strategies facilitate ECHS and MCHS processes.

California Education Code (EC), Section 48800 provides that the governing board of a school district may determine which students may benefit from advanced scholastic or vocational work. The governing board may authorize those students, upon recommendation from their principal and with parental consent, to attend a community college as a special part-time student and to enroll in one or more courses offered at the community college level. The purpose of the code is to provide educational enrichment for a limited number of eligible pupils. The educational enrichment opportunity will typically result in a request for concurrent enrollment in courses not currently offered by the approving school.

Students enrolled in Early College High Schools (ECHS) and Middle College High Schools (MCHS) can earn college credit through dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment strategies. ECHS are innovative partnerships between public or charter secondary schools and local community colleges that allow high school students to earn both their high school diplomas and Associates Degree with typically minor cost to the student. MCHS are secondary schools located on a college campus offering challenging academic programs and designed to serve high-potential, high-risk students. MCHS offer effective support services, small class size and the opportunity for students to concurrently take some college classes at typically minor cost to the student. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office External link opens in new window or tab. Web page provides pertinent reference information regarding dual enrollment.

EC, Section 46146.5 exempts an ECHS and a MCHS from the 240-minute minimum school day. The legislation provides that a day of attendance for an ECHS or MCHS student is 180 minutes if the student is a special part-time student enrolled in a community college under specified provisions, or the student is in grades 11 or 12 and is also enrolled part-time in classes at the California State University or the University of California campuses. EC, Section 46146.5 also reduces the minimum instructional time requirements for charter schools to be considered classroom based instruction if they operate as ECHS or MCHS. EC, Section 46146.5 provides for a reduction in time for determining attendance, but ECHS and MCHS must still offer their students the required number of annual instructional minutes.

EC, Section 76004 expands dual enrollment opportunities by reducing fiscal penalties and policy barriers that might discourage dual enrollment opportunities. The statute provides that the governing board of a community college district may enter into a College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) partnership with the governing board of a school district for the purpose of offering or expanding dual enrollment opportunities for students who may not already be college bound or who are underrepresented in higher education, with the goal of developing seamless pathways from high school to community college for career technical education or preparation for transfer, improving high school graduation rates, or helping high school pupils achieve college and career readiness.

If you have additional questions regarding this topic, please contact Carolyn Hamilton, Education Programs Consultant, Career and College Transition Division, by phone at 916-323-5765 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Carolyn Hamilton | | 916-323-5765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 12, 2018