How Dobson High School in Mesa used Dual
Enrollment tuition revenue to benefit the entire school
Earl Barrett and Larry Dukerich, retired science teachers. Feb. 2016
Dobson High School was the
second Arizona school to offer dual enrollment (DE) classes in partnership with
Rio Salado CC. We followed Mountain Pointe (in Tempe Union High School
district) by one year and used the same model. With the district’s full support, we included dual
enrollment courses in physics, chemistry, biology, and anatomy & physiology.
These courses were all taught by teachers holding community college certification.
We each submitted a syllabus
for CC approval and agreed to two yearly evaluations made by the CC science
coordinator. In return we received
monetary support from the community college, based on our student
enrollment. Students were allowed
to take the class without paying for college credit and receive only district
high school credit if they wished.
In practice, however, the majority of students chose to pay tuition to
receive CC credit.
At the end of each semester,
the college submitted a statement of monetary support that was earned through
the paid enrollment. The dual enrollment teachers at Dobson then met to decide
how to disperse the funds with the knowledge of the entire science department
staff. It was decided to look at
the big picture and create a plan that allocated monetary support based on
greatest need, and a three year plan that would eventually get the most bang
for the buck. The full staff recognized that DE funds would first support the
DE courses, but, as equipment was replaced, the non-DE classes would benefit by
receiving the older equipment.
This created a culture of inclusion that served everyone in the
department and fostered a spirit of support for the advanced programs in all
In fact, that spirit spread
to other departments, because science no longer requested any part of the
yearly school capital support budget. At some point, a very small percentage of
the CC support was allocated to time spent by district employees to pay for ordering and supply responsibilities.
This is a shining example of
win-win and total local control.
[Earl Barrett wrote also:
"We never considered using any for graduate courses because that was not a
need. If it was, I do believe we
This and related documents
can be downloaded at
in the section on “How to increase
physics enrollment in high school”.