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Dual credit

Please note that school authorities who received funding under the 1st intake of Dual Credit Start-up Funding grants will need to submit their Start-up Funding Report by July 31, 2019.

Dual credit helps students to:

  • get a jump start on their post-secondary education while still in high school
  • complete high school while engaging in meaningful curriculum
  • transition to post-secondary studies or move into the world of work
  • potentially complete post-secondary with less financial debt

The Alberta Dual Credit Framework (PDF, 868 KB) identifies dual credit as programming that is authorized and funded by Alberta Education in which grade 10, 11, or 12 students can earn both high school credits and credits that count toward a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, including a journeyperson certificate.

  • High school credits earned count towards course and credit requirements of the Alberta High School Diploma or the Alberta Certificate of High School Achievement.
  • Post-secondary credits earned may count towards a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree through partial or full completion of post-secondary requirements.

Schools across the province are offering a wide range of affordable, accessible, and rewarding learning opportunities that provide students with valuable hands-on learning. Participating in dual credit helps students develop the attitudes and skills they need to improve their employability in Alberta's dynamic job market.

Important: Please be aware that new Dual Credit Course Code Application Forms for the 2019/2020 school year are now available. Deadline to submit applications for semester one is April 1, 2019.

Alberta dual credit documents

Dual credit pathways

A dual credit pathway is a course or a selection of courses, within the CTS program area, providing students with opportunities to explore and acquire competencies as part of their career journey. Dual credit pathways can help students work toward their post-secondary goals or support them as they move directly into the workforce from high school.

There are two types of dual credit pathways:

  • Provincial Dual Credit Pathways
  • Local Dual Credit Pathways

Provincial dual credit pathways

Provincial dual credit pathways are developed by Alberta Education to align with post-secondary curriculum and/or industry standards.

Apprenticeship Dual Credit Pathways

  • Agricultural Equipment Technician First Period
  • Auto Body Technician First Period
  • Automotive Service Technician First Period
  • Baker First Period Cabinetmaker First Period
  • Carpenter First Period
  • Communication Technician First Period
  • Cook First Period
  • Electrician First Period
  • Hairstylist (First and Second Period)
  • Heavy Equipment Technician First Period
  • Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) First Period
  • Instrumentation and Control Technician First Period
  • Insulator First Period
  • Landscape Horticulturist First Period
  • Painter and Decorator First Period
  • Parts Technician First Period
  • Plumber First Period
  • Welder First Period

Non-Apprenticeship Dual Credit Pathways

  • 4th Class Power Engineering
  • 5th Class Power Engineering
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Health Care Aide
  • Office Administrative Professional

Local Dual Credit Pathways

School authorities can work with an eligible post-secondary partner to design dual credit pathways that meet the criteria established by Alberta Education and meet their local needs.

Eligible Alberta Post-Secondary Institutions (PSIs)

Below is a list of eligible Alberta PSIs that school authorities may consider partnering with to offer a dual credit pathway.

  • Alberta College of Art and Design
  • Ambrose University
  • Athabasca University
  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
  • Blue Quills First Nations College
  • Bow Valley College
  • Burman University
  • Columbia College
  • Concordia University of Edmonton
  • Grande Prairie Regional College
  • Grant MacEwan University
  • Keyano College
  • King's University
  • Lakeland College
  • Lethbridge College
  • Maskwacis Cultural College
  • Medicine Hat College
  • Mount Royal University
  • Nechi Institute Centre of Indigenous Learning
  • NorQuest College
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Northern Lakes College
  • Olds College
  • Portage College
  • Prairie Bible Institute
  • Red Crow Community College
  • Red Deer College
  • Rocky Mountain College
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • St. Mary's University
  • Taylor College and Seminary
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Lethbridge
  • Yellowhead Tribal College

Additional information

What is dual credit?

Dual credit is programming, authorized and funded by Alberta Education, in which grade 10, 11, or 12 students can earn both high school credits and credits that count towards a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree (including first period apprenticeship opportunities).

As a student, how can I participate in dual credit?

Students are encouraged to talk to their student advisor, counsellor, or administrator to find out how their school may support dual credit programming and how a student can participate.

As a student, what do I need to know before participating in dual credit?

It is important to consult with a student advisor, counsellor, or administrator to make decisions about high school programming, including dual credit.

Potential benefits of participating in dual credit

  • Students can get a jump start on their post-secondary education while still in high school. They can earn both high school and post-secondary credits at the same time.
  • Students can access more individualized learning.
  • Students who are engaged in meaningful high school programming are more likely to complete high school.
  • Students gain an increased awareness of labour market needs and future career opportunities.
  • Students who participate in dual credit programming transition more easily to post-secondary studies or into the world of work.
  • Potentially, some students may complete post-secondary with less financial debt.

Potential challenges of participating in dual credit

  • Students must meet post-secondary course outcomes and performance expectations to receive post-secondary credit.
  • All attempts at completion of dual credit courses, both successful and unsuccessful, may be recorded on the student's high school and post-secondary transcripts.
  • Student eligibility for some first year post-secondary institution scholarships or funding may be affected.
  • Students may have to pay non-instructional post-secondary fees (e.g., textbooks, scrubs, steel toed boots, etc.).
  • While dual credit courses may be transferable between some post-secondary institutions, not all will receive transfer credit at all institutions. Contact the post-secondary institution for confirmation of transferability.

As a parent/guardian, how can I support my child in dual credit?

Parents are encouraged to talk to their child's school and/or school authority to determine what dual credit offerings may be available and how they can best support their child. Parents/guardians should also understand that along with the many benefits of participating in dual credit programming, there are also some challenges. The school will be able to communicate the benefits and challenges that may exist relative to specific dual credit opportunities.

How are the diverse needs of Alberta students being considered?

Alberta Education is committed to ensuring programs are accessible and inclusive of all students.

As a commitment to our Francophone and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, Alberta Education encourages dual credit opportunities that reflect their diverse perspectives and needs.

Will students be able to use dual credit courses towards their graduation requirements?

Yes, dual credit courses are part of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 system and, as such, count toward graduation requirements for high school completion. Refer to the Guide to Education for details.

Will dual credit courses appear on a student's high school transcript?

Yes, as with other high school courses, dual credit courses will be identified on a student's high school transcript.

In a dual enrolled dual credit pathway, students completing post-secondary courses may also receive credits on a post-secondary transcript.

Will students have to pay fees to participate in dual credit?

School authorities must ensure compliance with the School Act and School Fees and Costs Regulation when developing and maintaining dual credit opportunities, where applicable.

  • School boards are prohibited from charging tuition under the School Act in most circumstances.
  • School boards are also prohibited from charging fees unless the fees are authorized in accordance with the School Act and School Fees and Costs Regulation.
  • Compliance may require additions to a board's fee schedule and ministerial approval in accordance with the School Act and School Fees and Costs Regulation.

Who are the partners in a dual credit opportunity?

School authorities will determine dual credit partners, depending on the type of dual credit courses their dual credit opportunity is comprised of. Not all dual credit opportunities need a post-secondary partner and, while business and industry involvement is encouraged, it is not required.

For example, if a school authority offers a single enrolled dual credit Career and Technology Studies (CTS) Carpenter Apprenticeship pathway in which an Alberta certificated teacher who is also a journeyperson carpenter instructs the courses within the high school, there is no need for a post-secondary partner.

All dual enrolled dual credit pathways require a post-secondary partner. Partnerships between school authorities and post-secondary institutions require a formal partnership.

Will every school offer dual credit?

School authorities may choose to offer dual credit opportunities but are not required to do so.

Schools authorities have the flexibility to provide learning opportunities that reflect the needs and interests of their students, school and community.

Students are encouraged to check with their school to find out what dual credit opportunities may be available.

Can school authorities work together to offer dual credit opportunities to their students?

Yes, school authorities are encouraged to collaborate to expand and support dual credit opportunities for their students. School authorities that are new to dual credit are encouraged to seek out school authorities that are experienced in dual credit to partner with and/or receive mentorship.

How will students in rural, urban, or remote settings be provided with equitable access to dual credit?

Flexible dual credit pathways can be offered through a variety of environments, such as face-to-face, distributed learning, blended learning, and e-learning. School authorities are encouraged to work together to provide equitable access to dual credit for their students.

Are other ministries supporting dual credit programming?

Alberta Education is the 'home' of dual credit, as dual credit is embedded within the Kindergarten to Grade 12 system for high school students.

Alberta Education welcomes other Government of Alberta ministries' continued support of dual credit as per their own ministry priorities and stakeholder needs.

Are there different types of dual credit courses?

Yes, dual credit courses are differentiated in two ways: single enrolled and dual enrolled.

A single enrolled dual credit course is one that is typically taught in a high school and does not require a post-secondary partner. For example, first period plumber apprenticeship courses can be taught by an Alberta certificated teacher who is a journeyperson plumber.

A dual enrolled dual credit course is one that is instructed and/or supervised by both a post-secondary institution instructor and an Alberta certificated teacher. For example, Health Care Aide (HCA) courses are taught in partnership with a post-secondary institution (PSI) with instruction provided by the PSI's qualified instructor in collaboration with an Alberta certificated teacher.

How has the process of aligning high school and post-secondary curriculum been streamlined?

The process of aligning curriculum between high school and post-secondary is no longer required.

A new process has been established by Alberta Education to assign dual enrolled course codes to post-secondary programming that aligns with specific criteria. Refer to the Dual Credit Implementation Guide (PDF, 380 KB) and the Alberta Education Dual Credit Course Code Application form (PDF, 108 KB) for details.

Why does dual credit programming require additional funding?

There are costs associated with dual enrolled dual credit programming that require additional funding above the base funding that school authorities receive from Alberta Education (e.g., establishing partnerships, ensuring adequate staff are available to oversee the dual credit opportunity, facility costs, equipment costs).

How will dual credit programming be funded?

Dual credit, like other high school programming, will continue to be funded through base instructional funding under Alberta Education's K to 12 education funding framework. Schools authorities have the flexibility to determine how funds are used to best reflect the needs and interests of their students, school and community.

To support dual credit growth, Education has committed additional funding of $16 million over the next four years. Approximately $8 million is allocated for on-going maintenance of dual credit through base instructional funding and the remaining $8 million is allocated for new dual credit opportunity growth through start-up funding grants.

On-going maintenance funding

  • Alberta's new dual credit funding model provides predictable, sustainable funding that will help school authorities expand dual credit opportunities.
  • Dual credit programming (single enrolled and dual enrolled) will continue to be funded through base instructional credit enrolment units (CEUs).
  • For authorized dual enrolled courses, a new tier 5 ($250 per CEU) is available for school authorities to access through submission of completed courses in the Provincial Approach to Student Information (PASI) system. When a school submits for a course that is taught in partnership with an eligible post-secondary institution, they can choose the dual enrolment flag (DEF) in PASIprep. The school authority will receive the tier 5 funding for that course, regardless of whether the course is associated with a different level of tier funding.
  • Mechanisms have been developed to support block-funded school authorities and First Nations/First Nation Education authorities that offer authorized dual credit programming as well. These school authorities will be funded at a top-up of $59.15 per CEU for dual enrolled courses submissions, which is the difference between a tier 1 funding level and a tier 5 funding level ($250 - $190.85 = $59.15).
  • For more information, refer to the Using the Dual Enrolment Flag in PASIprep (PDF, 319 KB) tip sheet.

Start-up funding

Eligible school authorities are encouraged to apply for start-up funding for new dual credit opportunities via the online application process.

  • Eligible school authorities may qualify for one dual credit start-up funding grant of up to $50,000 per year starting in the 2018–2019 school year.
  • By providing $2 million annually for start-up funding, Alberta Education is supporting the expansion of dual credit by approximately 40 new opportunities each year.
  • The application process form for start-up funding is on the Alberta Education Dual Credit web page. Applicants can expect to be contacted by February 28, 2019 regarding the status of their application.

The application process form for start-up funding is on the Alberta Education Dual Credit web page. Applicants can expect to be contacted by February 28, 2019 regarding the status of their application.

What other supports will Alberta Education offer school authorities for dual credit programming?

To support the provincial Alberta Dual Credit Framework, Alberta Education has developed a Dual Credit Implementation Guide (PDF, 380 KB) and several tip sheets that provide further details.

Alberta Education will continue to share information and resources with our dual credit stakeholders using existing communications with the field (e.g., Alberta Education website, conferences, conventions, curriculum coordinator meetings, etc.).

What are the eligible Alberta post-secondary institutions that have been identified by Alberta Education?

Alberta Education has identified 35 publicly funded Alberta post-secondary institutions and First Nations Colleges in Alberta that are considered eligible to support authorized, funded dual credit programming across the province. For French dual credit opportunities, Campus Saint-Jean (CSJ) and the Centre collégial de l'Alberta (CCA) are eligible post-secondary institutions since both CSJ and CCA are part of the University of Alberta's French campuses.

When a dual credit opportunity is taught by a post-secondary instructor, how is a teacher involved?

An Alberta certificated teacher is always involved in a dual credit opportunity regardless of the delivery method. While some dual credit programming requires a post-secondary instructor to teach the course(s), all dual credit courses must be delivered in accordance with the School Act, the Teacher Qualification Standard (TQS), and the Guide to Education.

If a teacher is not directly involved in the instruction of a course, that teacher must be assigned the responsibility for ensuring that:

  • the selected delivery site (i.e., a post-secondary classroom) provides a safe and caring learning environment
  • effective learning is taking place
  • student progress is monitored and supervised
  • student performance is appropriately assessed, in collaboration with the post-secondary instructor
  • interaction and communication with dual credit students and the post-secondary instructor is maintained

What happens to the current local dual credit pathways that do not align with the criteria established in the Alberta Dual Credit Framework and the Dual Credit Implementation Guide?

At the local level, dual credit pathways that were articulated to CTS or other provincial courses or were aligned using locally developed courses will continue to be maintained by the school authority that offers the pathways and will be honoured by Alberta Education as dual credit pathways until the end of the 2020 to 2021 school year. At that time, all local dual credit pathways will need to align with the criteria established within the Alberta Dual Credit Framework (PDF, 868 KB) and the Dual Credit Implementation Guide (PDF, 380 KB).

What high school career-based courses and pathways are not considered dual credit under the Alberta Dual Credit Framework?

At the provincial level, career-based learning opportunities for high school students that may have been recognized as dual credit under the previous Provincial Dual Credit Strategy, such as some Career and Technology Studies (CTS) Credentialed Pathways (e.g. CompTIA Network+, First Aid in Child Care) and off-campus education programming (e.g., the Green Certificate Program, Work Experience, and the Registered Apprenticeship Program), are not considered dual credit under the Framework.

These courses/pathways will continue to be available to students, supported by Alberta Education, and funded as per the Funding Manual for School Authorities.

Please refer to the CTS Credentialed Pathways (PDF, 249 KB) document which identifies the pathways that are considered dual credit.

Will dual credit programming be impacted by the 45 CEU cap?

For funding purposes, 35 CEUs is considered a full-time program at the high school level. Funding is provided for a maximum of 45 CEUs per student per year (September to August). Students will not be affected by the cap, as they are not restricted in the number of credits that they can take in a school year. Schools authorities may be minimally impacted depending on the number of credits they submit. Recovery over the 45 cap is based on the Tier 1 rate. Further questions regarding the 45 CEU cap should be directed to School Finance, Strategic Services and Governance Division.

Additional information

Additional information to support dual credit in Alberta

Alberta Advanced Education

Transfer Alberta provides information on dual credit pathways for students and other stakeholders.

The Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT) website also provides information on dual credit.

Alberta Labour

Alberta Labour provides labour market information on its website, which can be used by school authorities and their partners to support the planning of dual credit opportunities that meet student, school, and local community needs.

Resources

Historical documents

Previous Dual Credit documents:

Contact

To connect with the Dual Credit program:

Career and Technology Studies (CTS)

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-415-8191
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: bill.lomax@gov.ab.ca

Career Education - Curriculum

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2939
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: Kelly.I.Adams@gov.ab.ca

Address:

8th floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108th Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5E6