Early College Opportunities

Early college opportunities allow high school students in Rhode Island to explore new fields of study and prepare themselves for the rigors of college or career. Recent research by the Regional Education Laboratory Northwest & Islands suggests that Rhode Island students who participate in early college courses, also known as accelerated college credit programs, are significantly more likely than similar students to graduate high school, enroll in college, and avoid remedial classes at the college level. 

accelerated college credit chart

Guide to Early College Coursework for SCHOOLS

Guide to Early College Coursework for STUDENTS & FAMILIES 

High School students in Rhode Island have three ways to engage in early college coursework: Dual Enrollment, Concurrent Enrollment, and Advanced Placement courses. 

Questions? Contact Brittany.brown@ride.ri.gov


Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

Rhode Island is committed to supporting students in taking college courses to earn credit while still in secondary school. 

In 2013, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed legislation (RIGL 16-100) that called for the adoption of a statewide policy for dual enrollment that allows students to take college courses to earn credit at both the secondary school and the higher education institution. Subsequently, the Board of Education adopted regulations in April of 2015, that provide all qualified Rhode Island high school students access to college level coursework while still in high school.

Students can access college level courses in two ways by taking:

  • Concurrent enrollment courses at their high school: these courses are the same courses that are taught at the college, but are approved to be taught at the high school, by the high school teacher.
  • Dual enrollment courses at the institution’s campus: these courses are part of the institution’s regular schedule and are taught by a college professor.

Are You Ready to Take a College Class?

Each public Rhode Island higher education institution has established minimum eligibility criteria for high school students who wish to take dual and concurrent enrollment courses. If you meet these criteria, you may be on your way to taking a college class! And, don’t forget to explore other college-level opportunities your school offers, like Advanced Placement (AP) classes and dual enrollment with other private institutions. Any Rhode Island student can take advanced courses outside of school time through RIDE's All Course Network. 

Ask your school counselor or school administrator what you need to do to take a dual or concurrent enrollment class at one of Rhode Island's public postsecondary institutions. Make sure you verify that the course you want to take will also count toward your graduation requirements. Your school or district may also have additional enrollment requirements.


Many high schools will offer college classes that are taught by high school instructors. This means that you can take a college class and earn college credit without leaving your high school. The concurrent enrollment course catalog lists the courses that may be available at your school. Be sure to ask your counselor or school administrator what concurrent enrollment classes are offered at your school. Visit each institutions tab below for more information.

Click here for a list of 2022-2023 Concurrent Enrollment offerings.


Dual enrollment means you receive the approval of your school counselor or administrator to take a college class that is taught by the professor on the college campus. Make sure you verify that the course you want to take will also count toward your graduation requirements. Your school will be available to assist you in registration and working with your schedule. You may be responsible for your own transportation to the dual enrollment class.

Make sure you review and know the calendar and registration dates for the school you’re interested in. Helpful links can be found at each institution’s tab below.

Remember Your Responsibilities as a College Student

Regardless of where you take a college class, you are responsible for meeting the course expectations, requirements and following the course syllabus. This information will be given to you by the instructor at the beginning of each course. The syllabus will tell you what you can expect to learn and what is expected from you such as:

  • An overview of course content and learning objectives for the course
  • Reading assignments with due dates
  • Papers, tests, oral reports, or projects required
  • An explanation of how you will be graded (grading policies)
  • Class policies on attendance, lateness, retaking tests, late assignments, plagiarism, classroom behavior 

It is your responsibility to keep up with the course deadlines. It is vital that you pay attention to withdrawal and add/drop deadlines from the institution that is offering the course. Your grade will appear on an official college transcript. If you drop the course after the deadlines or receive a failing grade, this may impact your financial aid and/or GPA during college in the future. 

If you are thinking of dropping a course for any reason, talk with your school counselor as soon as possible. The course you've chosen counts toward your high school requirements and dropping or failing the class may impact the credit you need for high school graduation.

Course Tuition and Costs

Governor Raimondo's Prepare RI Dual Enrollment Fund for the 2019-20 school year was included as part of the the FY20 State budget and is pending approval by the General Assembly. The Prepare RI Dual Enrollment Fund provides funding for qualified public high school student to take college courses from Rhode Island’s public higher education institutions as part of their high school requirements at no cost to the student or family. This means you do not have to pay the cost of tuition or fees. The cost of books and associated course materials will be covered by your school or district if you are taking the course for high school credit.

Course Transfer Information

College credits transfer among RI's public higher education institutions in a variety of ways. Visit how courses transfer for more information. To see minimum grade requirements for transferring courses visit the transfer credit policy. If a course is not listed it may transfer as a free elective pending review. You can look up how a course taken at CCRI, RIC, or URI transfers to another of the RI public higher education institutions at RITransfers.org


  1. From the RI Transfers website, click on How Courses Transfer box on the left side of the homepage
  2. Then click on Course to Course Equivalencies. 
  3. Click on the college or university where you want to have the credits transferred
  4. Click on the college where you took the course
  5. Enter the course code (the letter abbreviation and number) for the course 
  6. Then hit search

Dual Enrollment Information for Schools and Districts

Rhode Island's public postsecondary institutions: Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and University of Rhode Island offer a number of ways for Rhode Island public schools to support their students in participating in college-credit bearing coursework. All three institutions offer both dual enrollment - coursework conducted at the college campus or online taught by a college faculty member - and, concurrent enrollment - coursework approved by the postsecondary institution to be offered at the high school by a high school teacher. Schools interested in adding concurrent enrollment coursework to their course catalog should review the Board of Education approved concurrent enrollment catalog, below, and contact the respective postsecondary institution contact to initiate the process.

School Responsibilities

Each public postsecondary institution has assigned a staff coordinator to oversee the selection and delivery of dual and concurrent courses. It is recommended that your school or district designate a staff member(s) to ensure the consistent communication between your school and the institution. Each Rhode Island public high school should also designate a staff member who can liaise with the Postsecondary coordinator. The school or LEA designated staff can be the main the point of contact for:

  • Advising colleagues in supporting students to select courses that match their interests and meet their graduation requirements 
  • Assisting students with dual and concurrent registration
  • Confirming enrollments with the institution
  • Communicating the available opportunities, benefits and risks to students and families
  • Ensuring final grades are coordinated with each institution
  • Identifying and assisting qualified high school instructors to be approved to teach concurrent enrollment courses

Course Costs

Students enrolled in a Rhode Island Public High School may access dual and concurrent coursework at no costs to them or their families. Through the state's PrepareRI Dual Enrollment Fundtuition and fees are covered for part-time enrollment tuition and fees including concurrent enrollment. If a student accesses the Full-Time Running Start Program at CCRI, tuition and fees are covered by the student's district. Each scenario is described below in more detail.

Part-Time Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment

Governor Raimondo’s Prepare RI Dual Enrollment Fund was included as part of the FY20 state budget and is pending approval by the General Assembly. The PrepareRI Dual Enrollment Fund provides funding to enable qualified students to participate in dual- and concurrent-enrollment programming with URI, RIC and CCRI as part of their high school requirements at no cost to students and families. The Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner will reimburse URI, RIC and CCRI for the per credit tuition cost and fees for students participating in dual and concurrent enrollment programming. This means schools and districts do not pay the cost of tuition, application or fees. The course costs outlined in the concurrent enrollment course catalog are covered by the Prepare RI Dual Enrollment Fund. 

Full-Time Dual Enrollment through the Running Start Program

In May 2018, The Board of Education revised the state's Dual Enrollment Regulations to improve upon the sustainability and quality controls in place for all dual enrollment programming. Among the changes was the acknowledgement that students enrolled in full-time course work such as through the Running Start Program at CCRI, do not spend their senior year at their high school campus. Given this, the regulations direct LEAs to cover the cost of students attending the program out of their student allocation. The regulations provide guard rails for the district in the event that the cost of full time enrollment increases. LEAs would not be required to pay more than 50% of the core instructional per pupil amount of state and local education aid as determined by RIDE. The regulations limit student's full time enrollment to only Community College of Rhode Island but allow for an appeal process with the Postsecondary Commissioner's office.

Dual Enrollment Regulations

The regulations for dual enrollment support the expansion of early college access for all qualified Rhode Island students. The regulations:

  • Ensure students receive both high school and college credit
  • Provide all qualified students access through dual enrollment to courses offered by URI, RIC and CCRI
  • Create a process for high schools to expand concurrent enrollment courses
  • Establish eligibility criteria which allows teachers, students, and families to see if students are prepared to take college level coursework
  • Remove barriers to participation for low-income students.

On May 30, 2018, The Board of Education approved revised Regulations for Dual Enrollment. The primary changes are:

  • Requires Districts / LEAs to pay for students enrolled full-time with CCRI. It caps the amount a district must pay per student to 50% of the core instruction per pupil rate as determined by the Rhode Island Department of Education.
  • The regulation also includes the parameters for allocation of funds in instances where there is a dedicated funding stream for dual enrollment courses.
  • The regulation outlines the standards for program quality and provides for the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner to work together to ensure the quality of these courses.

These regulations do not prevent schools and districts from entering into a partnership with private colleges and universities for dual and concurrent enrollment.

Benefits of Dual Enrollment

The benefits of taking college courses while still in high school go beyond simply earning credit and reducing the cost of college. Research shows that students who participate in dual and concurrent enrollment as high students1:

  • Are more likely to meet college-readiness benchmarks
  • Are more likely to enter college, and enter shortly after high school graduation
  • Less likely to place into remedial English or math
  • Have higher first-year college grade point average
  • Have higher second-year retention rates
  • Have higher four- and six-year college completion rates
  • Have shorter average time to bachelor’s degree completion for those completing in six years or less

Increasing Student Access and Success in Dual Enrollment Programs: 13 Model State-

Dual & Concurrent Enrollment Opportunities

The following table outlines the registration timelines for dual enrollment opportunities at each of Rhode Island's three public institutions of higher education for academic year 2022-2023.

Dual Enrollment Opportunities Chart
Registration opens April 12, 2021 November 29, 2021 TBD January 10, 2022 July 6, 2021 December 1, 2022
Registration deadline September 7, 2021 January 14, 2022 TBD TBD September 21, 2021 February 6, 2022
Last day to drop
(no transcript designation)
September 14, 2021 January 31, 2022 September 22, 2021 January 31, 2022 September 29, 2021 February 15, 2022
Last day to drop
('W' on transcript)
November 10, 2021 March 29, 2022 November 12, 2021 April 6, 2022 October 20, 2021 March 7, 2022

Course catalog

The courses outlined below are the concurrent courses that may be offered at your high school through one of the public postsecondary institutions. The catalog includes:

  • Course name and number
  • Number of credits that can be earned
  • Course prerequisites
  • Qualifications for high school instructors 

Academic Year 2022-23

In November 2021, the Rhode Island Board of Education voted to approve the list of concurrent courses proposed by the Office of Postsecondary Commissioner (OPC) in conjunction with URI, RIC, and CCRI.

The course review process considered:

  • Transferability of the course among the public institutions of higher education (as applicable) either as an equivalent course or as meeting a general education requirement.
  • Applicability of the course to degree or certificate requirements.
  • Applicability of the course to a technical degree or industry approved certification.
  • Courses are in the college catalog and are regularly offered to students attending the college or university.
  • The academic catalog description communicates that the course is a rigorous college-level course.

Academic Year 2022-2023

University of Rhode Island

Please refer to URI's website for the most up to date information by using the links below:

For questions pertaining to dual and concurrent enrollment at URI, contact the specified person below.

  • Student Eligibility Criteria:
    • Recommended high school GPA of at least 3.0
    • Junior or senior status.
    • Exceptions to the above must have the recommendation of the school counselor and/or school administrator and/or teacher.

  • Primary Contact Information
    • Contact Name: Christine Dolan
    • Title: Team Leader, Office of Strategic Initiatives / School of Education
    • Department: URI/Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education & Professional Studies  
    • Email Address: christine@uri.edu
    • Phone Number: 401-277-5388

Rhode Island College

Please refer to RIC's website for the most up to date information by using the links below:

For questions pertaining to dual and concurrent enrollment at RIC, contact the specified person below.

  • Student Eligibility Criteria:
    • Recommended high school GPA of at least 3.0
    • Junior or senior status
    • Exceptions to the GPA cutoff or grade level status must have the recommendation of the school counselor and/or school administrator and/or teacher.

  • Primary Contact Information:
    • Contact Name: Holly L. Shadoian
    • Title: AVP, Academic Affairs/Enrollment Management
    • Department: Academic Affairs
    • Email Address: hshadoian@ric.edu
    • Phone Number: 401-456-8884

Community College of Rhode Island

Please refer to CCRI's website for the most up to date information by using the links below:

  • CCRI Dual Enrollment Overview Presentation (Coming Soon)


  • Concurrent Enrollment Fact Sheets (STEM Connect):
    Click for information on the STEM Connect program for students and families.
    If you are a high school instructor, click here.

For questions pertaining to dual and concurrent enrollment at CCRI, contact the specified person below.

High School Enrichment:

The High School Enrichment Program offers high school students an opportunity to take college courses while in high school. It is a part-time program for students to enroll in up to two courses (8 credits total) per semester. A high school counselor must provide a recommendation for the student as well as course selections.

For more information visit CCRI’s High School Enrichment website.

Running Start:

Running Start is a full-time dual enrollment program for high school seniors who have demonstrated the academic achievement and maturity necessary to enroll in college courses during their senior year of high school. In addition, students have an opportunity to explore an academic and career pathway while earning transferable college credits. Seniors take a full-time (12 or more credits) course load for the fall and spring semesters and are eligible to earn college credit for high school graduation simultaneously. Home school, private and out of state students are responsible for tuition and fees.

Student Eligibility Criteria:

High School Transcripts: Qualifying GPA criteria of a cumulative high school average of “B” or better is required, (2.7 of 4.0 scale or 80/100).

PSAT/SAT Test Scores: Qualifying PSAT/SAT scores must be above 410 in Reading/Writing and above 411 in Math. 

NOTE: High School Transcripts and PSAT/SAT Test Scores should be emailed to: dualenroll@ccri.edu  

For more information visit CCRI’s Running Start website.


Accelerate is a full-time, dual enrollment program, offered at the Community College of Rhode Island's Providence campus, that provides PPSD high school seniors with an opportunity to explore an academic and career pathway and earn transferable college credits. Students take a full-time (12 or more credits) course load each semester and are eligible to earn college credit and credit for high school graduation simultaneously. Fall courses focus on fulfilling high school graduation requirements and spring course focus within a selected pathway.

Student Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the Accelerate program, a student must have a 2.7 GPA and demonstrated strong attendance and/or demonstrated leadership skills (ie. participation in a Prepare RI Apprenticeship or enrichment activities)

For more information visit CCRI’s Accelerate website.

  • Contact Name: Benson Arrigo
  • Department: Office of Enrollment Services
  • Email: bjarrigo@ccri.edu
  • Phone Number: (401) 333-7430
Advanced Placement Courses

Through the Advanced Placement (AP) Program, students can take college-level courses at their high school and have the opportunity to earn college credit. These courses use rigorous college-level curriculum developed by the College Board. AP students tackle topics head-on and go deeper into subjects that interest them. AP classes are challenging, but any student who is willing to work hard and is academically prepared can succeed in this program. 

Taking AP courses can give students an advantage in the college application process by showing that they are ready for college-level work. Most colleges and universities will also award college credit to students who score at least a 3 out of 5 on their AP exams. 

Rhode Island Leads the Nation with Largest Improvement in AP Pass Rates

After the state began to reward high schools offering early college courses,  Rhode Island saw the largest improvement in Advanced Placement pass rates of any state in the nation. Learn more by reading our recent press release. This shift coincides with Rhode Island's decision to reward schools outcomes related to postsecondary readiness, like Advanced Placement scores, dual enrollment courses and career and technical education through the Diploma Plus metric in our accountability system.  Next academic year, RIDE is working to build on this momentum to continue expanding access to AP, particularly for traditionally underserved groups. 


Use the RIDE AP data tool to learn more about AP participation and performance at your school. Increasing equitable access to AP is a RIDE priority for SY 21-22. Review the AP Presentation and outreach folder for resources to support school in ensuring that all student groups have access to AP opportunities. 

Students and Families

Who Should Take an AP Class? Am I Ready?

AP classes can be challenging, but any student who is willing to work hard and is prepared academically can succeed AP. Students can take advantage of additional resources available through College Board to get extra practice for their AP class. 

How Can I Take an AP Class?

Students in Rhode Island have two options for taking AP Courses. 


High schools across the state offer AP options. These courses are taught during the school day by one of the teachers at your school. Ask your teachers or counselor about what APs are offered at your school. 


The All Course Network (ACN) is a state-wide platform where students across Rhode Island can take courses outside of school hours. Students can take an AP class through the ACN for FREE! ACN students also take the AP exam for free. Go to enrollri.org/acn and search "AP" to see current offerings. 

What are the Benefits of AP?

Taking AP courses can give students an advantage in the college application process by showing you are ready for college-level work. Most colleges and universities also award college credit to students who score at least a 3 out of 5 on the AP exam. 

Are There Any Costs Associated with AP Class?

There is a fee to take the AP exam. However, many schools will help students pay for exams. Students can also request an exam fee reduction waiver from College Board. Further, any Rhode Island student can take an AP class and the AP exam for FREE through the ACN.

PrepareRI Logo Web Address

Dual and concurrent enrollment is part of PrepareRI, a statewide initiative to build career pathways for all Rhode Island youth. Learn more about PrepareRI at www.prepare-ri.org