Early College Credits

District of Columbia Public Schools’ CTE department is committed to student postsecondary success. Students are exposed to college credits in 3 ways: 1) Articulation Agreements, 2) Dual Enrollment, and/or 3) Credit by Assessment.

Articulation Agreements
Articulation agreements allow CTE students to earn college credit for CTE work completed during high school. These agreements are beneficial to students for numerous reasons:

  • Articulation agreements allow CTE students to skip some basic, foundational, or 100-level courses that may be required by the college. This saves time and money and enable students to take advanced college courses sooner in their college careers.
  • Articulation agreements enable students to graduate high school with college credits without paying college tuition. While earning college credits under an articulation agreement, high school students do not pay college tuition.
  • College credits earned through articulation agreements can be transferable to other post-secondary institutions.

DCPS collaborates with post-secondary institutions to match the content of Career and Technical Education programs with the content of college-level courses, to determine equivalency. There are various stipulations for students to be able to earn/apply these credits towards a postsecondary degree (i.e. a certain grade or GPA earned in the course), therefore it’s essential that parents/guardians and students meet with their CTE Instructor, Academy Director, and/or school counselor to express interest in an Articulation Agreement(s).

See below for a list of current agreements (SY23-24):

For additional resources regarding articulation agreements, contact the DCPS Director of Career Preparedness Programs, Crystal Smith.

Dual Enrollment
All DCPS students are welcome and encouraged to apply to DCPS Dual Enrollment programs, and we especially encourage CTE students to include this option as part of their CTE experience. Dual enrollment offers students the opportunity to maintain their high school status while enrolling part-time at participating local universities. DCPS and OSSE partner with a variety of local institutions, including American University, Bard College, Bowie State, Georgetown University, Howard University, Montgomery College, Northern Virginia Community College, University of the District of Columbia, and more. Students interested in applying for Dual Enrollment must first speak to their school counselor to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and have schedule availability to participate in the program.

To see the entire list of participating institutions, as well as the details on how to apply, please visit DCPS Dual Enrollment.

Credit by Assessment
CTE typically participates in three types of Credit by Assessments: AP Exams, CLEP Exams, and HESI Entrance Exam. Currently DCPS only offers AP Exams, but continues to explore additional opportunities for students. AP Exams are standardized exams designed to measure how well students have mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course.

To access information on specific AP Exams offered at their school, students should speak with their school counselor.