How it works

For students

Dual credit programming lets students personalize their high school experience and discover or build on career passions and interests. Learning opportunities span many industries and professions such as health care, trades, agriculture and business administration.

Students in Grade 10, 11 or 12 can earn credits toward:

  • a high school diploma or certificate of achievement
  • a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
  • first-period apprenticeship or journeyperson certificate

Dual credit opportunities vary from school to school. Student advisors, counsellors or school administrators can help students access these opportunities and develop a career plan with resources on:

  • alis Alberta – career planning, post-secondary education and training, educational funding, job searches and more
  • Transfer Alberta – getting admitted, transferring and planning post-secondary pathways
  • Tradesecrets – working in one of Alberta’s many trades

For school authorities

School authorities have the flexibility to provide learning opportunities that reflect the needs and interests of their students, schools and communities. There is provincial dual credit programming or school authorities can design their own locally with authorization from Alberta Education. Policies and practices are developed and implemented locally. School authorities may apply for a start-up grant to fund new dual credit programming.

Find out about dual credit start-up funding for schools.

Planning

Usually a school authority determines the best dual credit programming to meet students’ needs and help them transition to post-secondary education or the workplace. Sometimes a post-secondary institution, business or industry suggests an idea to a school authority based on local or provincial labour market demands.

Before offering a new dual credit learning opportunity, school authorities need to determine if they can deliver the courses independently or through a partnership.

Partnerships

School authorities may offer dual credit programming in partnership with one or more of the following:

  • other school authorities
  • publicly funded post-secondary institutions or First Nations colleges (required for dual enrolled courses)
  • professional regulatory organizations
  • large companies
  • small businesses
  • chambers of commerce
  • boards or councils

Partnership agreements

When school authorities work with post-secondary institutions, a formal dual credit partnership agreement or a memorandum of understanding must be established to:

Partners’ roles and responsibilities

The partners have the flexibility to customize roles and responsibilities within their dual credit partnership agreements. They are responsible for working together on their agreements and considering:

  • planning and recruitment
  • coordination or coordinator
  • curriculum development and mapping
  • off-campus provisions
  • supervision
  • duty of care and liability insurance
  • student attendance and participation
  • student accommodations
  • communication with parents
  • instruction
  • assessment and evaluation
  • grades and reporting

For more information, review the Tip Sheet: Suggested Roles and Responsibilities of Dual Credit Partners (PDF, 283 KB).

When planning for new programming, school authorities and any partners should also review the Tip Sheet: Suggested Processes and Considerations for Initiating a Dual Credit Opportunity (PDF, 302 KB).

Programming

Dual credit programming consists of pathways or courses funded and authorized by Alberta Education.

Pathways

A dual credit pathway is a course or a selection of courses in the Career and Technology Studies (CTS) program. Students explore career opportunities and develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they will need on the job.

There are 2 types of pathways that enable students to work toward post-secondary goals or enter the workforce from high school:

  1. Provincial dual credit pathways are developed by Alberta Education to align with post-secondary curriculum and/or industry standards.
  2. Local dual credit pathways are designed by school authorities and an eligible post-secondary partner to meet local labour market needs. The school authority must apply for dual credit course codes once the pathway is designed.

School authorities determine the best learning environments to deliver the pathways such as:

  • face-to-face
  • distributed
  • blended
  • e-learning

Courses

There are 2 types of courses within the dual credit pathways:

  1. Single enrolled courses:
    • do not require school authorities to have a post-secondary partner
    • may involve partners from business and industry
    • are usually taught in a high school by an Alberta certified teacher with credentials to teach the course (for example, a first period plumber apprenticeship course taught by a journeyperson plumber with teaching certification)
    • are assessed by the teacher and course completions and marks are reported by the school authority
    • enable students to receive high school credits or post-secondary credits, exam eligibility or advanced standing
  2. Dual enrolled courses:
    • require a partnership between a school authority and post-secondary institution
    • could involve partners from business and industry
    • may be taught in a high school or post-secondary institution
    • are usually taught and assessed by a post-secondary instructor in collaboration with an Alberta certified teacher (for example, a health care aide course)
    • require course completions and marks to be reported by the school authority and the post-secondary institution
    • enable students to receive credits on both their high school and post-secondary transcripts

Course codes

Provincial dual credit pathways have existing course codes for school authorities to use. When school authorities design a new local pathway, they need to apply for new course codes for the programming.

Find out how to apply for dual credit course codes.

Contact

Connect with the Alberta Education Dual Credit program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: edc.dct@gov.ab.ca