Nature


Strategic Initiatives

Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership

Overview

The Massachusetts Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership (CDEP) provides opportunities for Massachusetts high school students to take college-level courses for free or at a discounted price and earn credit toward high school completion and their future college degrees.

Contact

Keith Connors
Director of Academic Affairs and Student Success
(617) 994-6911
kconnors@dhe.mass.edu

Duration

1993 – 2002
2008 – Present

Funding

Related Data

 

Target Populations
  • Low-Income
  • First Generation
  • POC
  • African American
  • Latinx
DHE Responsibilities
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Early College
  • Readiness
  • Access
Partnerships

Public Higher Ed System
MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education

Related Initiatives

Early College

Background

State-funded dual enrollment was first established in Massachusetts in 1993 and supported 12,000 participating students between 1994 and 2001. After a hiatus due to a shortage of state funding, the program was restored in 2008 and, as of July 2009, became known as the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Program and in June 2014, it was renamed the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership. In FY15 the program had 1,638 enrollments and by FY18, enrollments increased to 2,310. 

Programs Details

CDEP eases the transition from high school to college, allowing students the opportunity to enter college already having earned course credit. Participating students gain an early college experience with meaningful and challenging academic courses that they might otherwise not have had available to them.  And for low-income, underrepresented or first-to-college students, involvement with CDEP might be their first exposure to college or the first time they considered college as a possibility.  The ultimate goal of CDEP is to increase the population of high school graduates who are college ready.

CDEP funded students take their first course free of charge or for a nominal fee. Subsequent course fees are set by the institution. Please contact your local public campus to find out what dual enrollment opportunities and funding is available. 

If you apply for admission at one of the state’s public colleges or universities, grades received in courses as part of CDEP receive additional weight in your high school GPA. The additional weight will be the same as that given for grades earned in Advanced Placement courses for the purpose of calculating the high school GPA. See the Department of Higher Education's Admissions Standards Reference Guide for more information on calculating the high school GPA.

Students who participate in CDEP are required to receive high school and college credit for the courses they successfully complete.

Student Eligibility

Students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a Massachusetts public secondary school or nonpublic school, including home school;
  • Meet all course prerequisites per the policies of the participating campus;
  • Be a Massachusetts resident;
  • May not have earned a GED or high school diploma; and
  • Have a minimum cumulative 2.5 high school GPA*

*If a student’s GPA is below the 2.5 GPA threshold then the student must submit a recommendation letter from their high school guidance counselor, teacher, or principal. Home schooled students should submit a letter from their parent or guardian.

Students who meet eligibility guidelines are not guaranteed participation. Participation is at the discretion of the participating institution of higher education, subject to capacity constraints and state appropriation.

Course Eligibility

CDEP courses are limited to those that would qualify under the MassTransfer Block . These are generally first- and second-year college courses that institutions regard as highly transferable. These courses are not guaranteed to transfer, however. Students should contact the college or university in which they plan to enroll after high school to inquire about their transfer policy.

Eligible Courses: An eligible course must be a credit-bearing college-level course that meets the following criteria:

  • listed in the participating institution’s course catalog;
  • counts for no less than three credit hours;
  • qualifies under the MassTransfer Block*, or is within the disciplines of computer science, technology or engineering; and
  • listed in the participating institution’s course catalog;
  • counts for no less than three credit hours;
  • qualifies under the MassTransfer Block*, or is within the disciplines of computer science, technology or engineering; and
  • taught by college faculty or high school faculty that have been vetted by the college.

*Note: three credit courses that include tutorials and co-requisite support are eligible for CDEP.

The disciplines represented in the MassTransfer block are behavioral and social sciences, humanities and fine arts, natural or physical science, English composition/writing, and mathematic/quantitative reasoning.
More information about MassTransfer can be found here.

Ineligible Courses: The following courses are ineligible:

  • remedial/developmental courses (including ESL courses);
  • non-credit courses;
  • physical education/fitness/recreation courses;
  • courses less than three credit hours; and
  • first-year orientation or similar courses.
Higher Ed Institutional Eligibility

The Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership (CDEP) is offered within the public higher education system in Massachusetts. To be eligible for CDEP funding, a community college, state university, or University of Massachusetts campus must plan and develop dual enrollment opportunities with the following guidelines:

  • Offer a variety of college-level courses in multiple disciplines.
  • Focus efforts to enroll qualified students with particular emphasis on potential first-generation college students, low-income students, and students who are interested in high demand career areas.
  • Expand the CDEP student experience so that opportunities for college preparation, access and success are connected with academic components. Information on college admissions, application of dual enrollment credit, accessing student support services and financial aid awareness should be particular areas of focus.
  • Expand dual enrollment opportunities by including as many qualified students as possible based upon available state funding and in-kind contributions

Please note that students who are not first-generation college students, low-income students, or interested in STEM fields are also eligible to participate.

FAQs

For Students & Families

Where are courses offered?

Course are offered by the majority of Massachusetts community colleges, state universities and undergraduate University of Massachusetts campuses. Courses may be taught on the campuses of those institutions, on a high school campus, or online. Courses that are offered at the high school are called "contract courses" and are arranged through an agreement between the high school and the institution of higher education.

How many courses may I take?

Students may enroll in one or more courses per the discretion of the participating institution of higher education. Because college and universities are required to expand dual enrollment opportunities to as many students as possible, you may be limited to the number of courses you may take.

What credits will I earn for the courses I complete successfully?

Students must receive college and high school credit, documented on their college and high school transcripts, for the courses that they successfully complete. Students may be asked to collect signatures of college and high school administrators for this purpose.

The high school may count the CDEP course either as an elective or a required course. Participating higher education institutions and high schools are responsible for establishing written agreements that ensure that high school students receive credit from both the college and high school for courses completed as part of CDEP. Although not a requirement, the Department of Higher Education suggests grades earned from CDEP courses are configured into the high school GPA and weighted the same as Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

What charges are covered through CDEP?

Students do not pay tuition or fees for courses taken through CDEP. However, some institutions may charge a nominal admission fee (for example, $25), which may be waived. Student who demonstrate financial need may also receive additional assistance for books, supplies, and transportation. For more information, contact the CDEP coordinator at the participating institution of higher education.

I am interested in participating. How can I get more information?

Check with your high school guidance counselor to find out if a contract course is offered at your high school and/or how you can enroll in a course offered on a higher education campus or online.

Interested students and families are also encouraged to coordinate with the CDEP coordinator at their public higher education institution of interest (PDF map) to arrange for student enrollment in courses offered on the college campus or online. Arrangements must be made prior to the start of a new term, and interested parties are encouraged to start the process as early as possible.

CDEP is just one of many different dual enrollment and early college programs and initiatives offered at Massachusetts' public colleges and universities. To avoid confusion when contacting a higher education institution about it, please refer to the program by its specific name: "Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership" or "CDEP."

For High Schools

How do high schools ensure enrolled students receive course credit from participating colleges?

High schools must establish agreements with the participating public institution of higher education to ensure that participating students receive credit from both the college and the high school, documented on both transcripts, for the courses taken through CDEP. Students may be asked to collect signatures of high school and college administrators for this purpose.

How are CDEP grades weighted against a student’s GPA?

As an additional incentive to students to take more challenging coursework, grades received in CDEP courses will receive additional weight in the calculation of applicants' weighted GPA for admission into Massachusetts public higher education institutions. The additional weight will be the same as that given for grades earned in Advanced Placement courses for the purpose of calculating the high school GPA. See the Department of Higher Education's Admissions Standards Reference Guide for more information on calculating the high school GPA.

Where are CDEP courses held?

Interested high school administrators and staff are encouraged to coordinate with the CDEP coordinator at their local public higher education institution to arrange for a "contract course" to be offered on a high school campus or for student enrollment in courses offered on the college campus or online. Arrangements must be made prior to the start of a new term, and interested parties are encouraged to start the process as early as possible.

For Institutions of Higher Education

What are the obligations for the participating higher ed institutions?

Students must receive college and high school credit, documented on their college and high school transcripts, for the courses that they successfully complete. Institutions of higher education and high schools are responsible for establishing agreements that ensure that high school students receive credit from both the college and the high school for courses taken as part of CDEP. Students may be asked to collect signatures of college and high school administrators for this purpose.

The high school may count the CDEP course either as an elective or a required course. Participating IHEs and high schools are responsible for establishing written agreements that ensure that high school students receive credit from both the college and high school for courses completed as part of CDEP. Although not a requirement, the Department of Higher Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education suggest grades earned from CDEP courses are configured into the high school GPA and weighted the same as Advanced Placement (AP) courses. 

Campus Contacts

Community Colleges
Berkshire Community College Elizabeth (Beth) Lapierre
Coordinator of Enrollment Services
(413) 236-5251
elapierre@berkshirecc.edu
Bristol Community College Carlos Avila
Assistant Director of College Access
(774) 357-3219
Carlos.Avila@bristolcc.edu
Bunker Hill Community College Gretchen M. Lahey
Dual Enrollment Coordinator
(617) 228-3319
glahey@bhcc.mass.edu
Cape Cod Community College Sharon Boonstra
Admissions / Dual Enrollment Coordinator
(508) 362-2131, X4992
sboonstra@capecod.edu
Christine McCarey
Dean, Enrollment Management & Student Development
(508) 362-2131, X4315
cmccarey@capecod.edu
Matthew Cormier
Director of Admissions
(508) 362-2131
mcormier@capecod.edu
Greenfield Community College Anna Berry
Dean of Students
(413) 775-1868
berrya@gcc.mass.edu
Holyoke Community College Jenilee Cochran
Admissions Counselor
(413) 552-2241
jcochran@hcc.edu
Yanina Vargas
Vice President, Student Affairs
(413) 552-2231
yvargas@hcc.edu
MassBay Community College Lisa Slavin
Assistant Vice President, Enrollment Management
(781) 239-2501
lslavin@massbay.edu
Massasoit Community College Christina Alves
Associate Dean, Early College Access
(508) 588-9100 x1687
calves@massasoit.mass.edu
Michelle Hughes
Director of Admissions
mhughes13@massasoit.mass.edu
Middlesex Community College Patricia Bruno
Associate Dean, Academic, Career & Transfer Counseling
(978) 656-3212
Brunop@middlesex.mass.edu
Mount Wachusett Community College Sara Vettese
Director of Early College & Dual Enrollment
(978) 630-9356
svettese1@mwcc.mass.edu
North Shore Community College Susan Curry
Director of Early College Partnerships
(978) 739-5521
scurry@northshore.edu
Northern Essex Community College Noemi Custodia-Lora
Acting Assistant Dean, Math and Sciences
(978) 556-3517
ncustodialora@necc.mass.edu
Quinsigamond Community College Michelle Tufau
Associate Dean of Enrollment Management
Phone: (508) 854-2826
mtufau@qcc.mass.edu
Jude D'Angelo
Enrollment Counselor
Phone: (508) 854-4360
jdangelo@qcc.mass.edu
Roxbury Community College Carrie Monestime
Dean of Enrollment
617-708-3739
cmonestime@rcc.mass.edu
Springfield Technical Community College Louisa Davis-Freeman
Dean of Admissions
(413) 755-4380
LDavisFreeman@stcc.edu
Dr. Patrick Tigue
Vice President, Enrollment Management/Student Affairs
(413) 755-4482
tigue@stcc.edu
State Universities
Bridgewater State University Ashley O'Donnell
Dual Enrollment Coordinator & Admission Counselor
(508) 531-2468
a3odonnell@bridgew.edu
Gregg A. Meyer
Dean of University Admissions
gmeyer@bridgew.edu
Fitchburg State University Cathy Canney
Interim Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs
(978) 665-3653
ccanney@fitchburgstate.edu
Karen Frank Mays
Grants Development Coordinator
(978) 665-3712
kfrankmays@fitchburgstate.edu
Framingham State University Colleen Coffey 
Executive Director, College Planning Collaborative
(508) 215-5600
ccoffey@framingham.edu
Massachusetts College of Art and Design Liz Reiser
Youth Programs Coordinator
(617) 879-7174
liz.rudnick@massart.edu
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Josh Mendel
Associate Director of Admissions
(413) 662-5409
j.mendel@mcla.edu
Paul A. Petritis, M. Ed.
Associate Dean, Graduate & Continuing Education
(413) 662-5543
paul.petritis@mcla.edu
Massachusetts Maritime Academy Dione Eaton
Admission's Office
(508) 830-5032
deaton@maritime.edu
Salem State University Mary Dunn
Executive Director, Partnership Development & Outreach
(978) 542-7025
mdunn2@salemstate.edu
Bonnie Galinski
Assistant Vice President, Enrollment Management
 
Westfield State University Ryan Meersman
Early College Access & Education Recruitment Coordinator
(413) 572-8316
rmeersman@westfield.ma.edu
Worcester State University Ryan Forsythe, Ed.D.
Vice President, Enrollment Management
(508) 929-8498
rforsythe@worcester.edu
Tiana D. Carrasquillo
Associate Director, Admissions
(508) 929-8040
tcarrasquillo@worcester.edu
UMass
University of Massachusetts Amherst UMass Amherst is not participating in the CDEP program.
University of Massachusetts Boston John Drew
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
(617) 287-6047
John.Drew@umb.edu
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Kevin Glassman
Admissions Counselor
(508) 999-9106
kglassman@umassd.edu
University of Massachusetts Lowell Kerri Johnston
Director of Undergraduate Admissions
(978) 934-3948
kerri_johnston@uml.edu