Dual Credit Funding and Participation in Illiniois

The Illinois Community College Board in conjunction with Illinois Board of Higher Education was charged with ensuring quality standards for dual credit coursework with the Dual Credit Quality Act of 2009. The Dual Credit Quality Act also emphasizes the importance of providing access for underserved student populations to postsecondary courses and programs. In a 2008 report to the General Assembly, the Dual Credit Task Force elaborated on the issue of access noting, “Limited access for low-income, minority, and academically underprepared students.” Even as dual credit programs and courses proliferate throughout the state, broadening participation is needed given the uneven availability across school districts in addition to associated tuition and fees. Dual credit has grown across the country an academic pathway to promote college access and completion by offering an accelerated route to postsecondary education. As districts with high concentrations of low-income and minority students have fewer opportunities to participate in dual credit programs, potential benefits of dual credit can mean little to underserved students unless there are actual opportunities for participation.

This exploratory study looked at the connection between state funding policy, quality standards, program design, and development as well as the perceptions regarding access and participation of underserved students (i.e., low-income and racial/ethnic minorities) in dual credit programming. This study followed up on a 2014 OCCRL report, commissioned by ICCB, which served as an environmental scan and provided baseline data on dual credit funding models in the state of Illinois.

Participating Colleges

  • Black Hawk College
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • College of Lake County
  • Elgin Community College
  • Harper College
  • Heartland Community College
  • Illinois Central College
  • John A Logan College
  • John Wood Community College
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Kaskaskia College
  • Lewis and Clark Community College
  • Lincoln Land Community College
  • McHenry County College
  • Parkland College
  • Prairie State College
  • Rend Lake College
  • Richard J. Daley College
  • Sauk Valley Community College
  • Shawnee Community College
  • South Suburban College
  • Southeastern Illinois College
  • Southwestern Illinois College
  • Spoon River College
  • Wilbur Wright College

Project Profile


Examine Illinois dual credit programs and policies in relation to access and opportunity for underserved student populations.

  1. Study the relationship between state funding policy and quality standards, and local program design and development.
  2. Identify the effects of dual credit policy and programming on access and participation by underserved students.
  3. Offer policy and program recommendations in light of findings.


Illinois Community College Board


Dual Credit Voices and Viewpoints

Dual Credit Publications

Publication Search

        All Dual Credit Publications ›

        Dual Credit Research Team

        Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, Principal Investigator (primary contact)
        Janice Li North
        John Lang