Dual credit courses are university-level courses taught in high schools to eligible high school students by university-qualified instructors using the college's required textbooks and curricula. When students successfully complete a dual-credit course, they simultaneously receive both high school and university credit. A letter grade and university credit hours are awarded by the college or university offering the dual credit course, and a record of that class is kept at that institution, just as if the students had been on-campus taking the class.
The courses are taught on the high school campus by high school teachers who have been approved to serve as adjunct lecturers by the university. In the state of Missouri, these high school teachers must have a master's degree that includes substantial study (usually a minimum of 18 semester hours) appropriate to the academic field in which they are teaching. As for any instructor of college-level courses, high school instructors of dual credit courses must meet the requirements for faculty teaching in institutions of higher education, as stipulated for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.
CHOOSING A DUAL CREDIT COURSE
The college or university that a student plans to attend after high school graduation will, in large part, determine whether a particular dual credit class is appropriate for that student. Students should check with their prospective institutions to determine if a particular dual credit course would be accepted in transfer. Course transferability is not guaranteed. A high school counselor might be able to determine which, if any, of the high school's advance courses are considered dual credit courses, and which college or university offers the course on their campus.
For more information about Missouri's dual credit program, please visit the Missouri Department of Higher Education's Dual Credit Policy page.