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.
Director of Academic Affairs and Student Success
1993 – 2002
2008 – Present
Public Higher Ed System
MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education
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.
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. Student participation in CDEP is at the discretion of the participating institution of public higher education, subject to capacity constraints and state appropriation. Not all of Massachusetts’ public higher education institutions participate in the CDEP program. 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.
Students must meet the following eligibility criteria:
*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.
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:
*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:
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:
Please note that students who are not first-generation college students, low-income students, or interested in STEM fields are also eligible to participate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Berkshire Community College||Elizabeth (Beth) Lapierre
Coordinator of Enrollment Services
|Bristol Community College||Carlos Avila
Assistant Director of College Access
|Bunker Hill Community College||Gretchen M. Lahey
Dual Enrollment Coordinator
|Cape Cod Community College||Tara Riley
Dual Enrollment Program Coordinator
Dean, Enrollment Management & Student Development
Director of Admissions
|Greenfield Community College||Anna Berry
Dean of Students
|Holyoke Community College||Jenilee Cochran
Dual Enrollment Coordinator
Dual Enrollment Advisor
|MassBay Community College||Lisa Slavin
Assistant Vice President, Enrollment Management
|Massasoit Community College||Christina Alves
Associate Dean, Early College Access
|(508) 588-9100 x1687
Director of Admissions
|Middlesex Community College||Dr. Ellen Grondine
Dean of Education & K-16 Partnerships
|Mount Wachusett Community College||Sara Vettese
Director of Early College & Dual Enrollment
|North Shore Community College||Susan Curry
Director of Early College Partnerships
|Northern Essex Community College||Marcy Yeager
Executive Director, PK12 Partnerships and International Programs
|Quinsigamond Community College||Christina Hebert
Director of Educational Partnerships K-12 & Early College Initiatives
|Roxbury Community College||Kandley Val, MHA
Assistant Dean of Enrollment
|Springfield Technical Community College|| Louisa Davis-Freeman
Dean of Admissions
Director of Early College Initiatives
|Bridgewater State University||Ashley O'Donnell
Dual Enrollment Coordinator & Admission Counselor
|Gregg A. Meyer
Dean of University Admissions
|Fitchburg State University||Andrew Goodwin
Coordinator of Early College and Dual Enrollment
|Karen Frank Mays
Grants Development Coordinator
|Framingham State University||Colleen Coffey
Executive Director, College Planning Collaborative
|Massachusetts College of Art and Design||Liz Reiser
Youth Programs Coordinator
|Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts||Josh Mendel
Associate Director of Admissions
|Paul A. Petritis, M. Ed.
Associate Dean, Graduate & Continuing Education
|Massachusetts Maritime Academy||Dione Eaton
|Salem State University||Daniel Williams
Assistant Director, Academic and Records Services, Registrar's Office
Assistant Vice President, Enrollment Management
|Westfield State University||Ryan Meersman
Early College Access & Education Recruitment Coordinator
|Worcester State University||Ryan Forsythe, Ed.D.
Vice President, Enrollment Management
|University of Massachusetts Amherst||UMass Amherst is not participating in the CDEP program.|
|University of Massachusetts Boston||Daniel MacLeod
Director of Merit Scholarships
|University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||Kevin Glassman
|University of Massachusetts Lowell||Kerri Johnston
Director of Undergraduate Admissions