Student participation in dual enrollment courses (known as JumpStart) offered in collaboration between the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and Howard Community College (HCC) has increased to 1,798 students, giving Howard County the distinction of the second-highest ranking among Maryland counties. Students enrolled in more than 2,800 courses for college credit during the fall 2020 semester.

Dual enrollment allows students to earn college credit while still in high school. Increasing participation in the program has been a priority for both HCPSS and HCC, which have worked collaboratively to provide access to higher education opportunities to all students.

The dual enrollment partnership was first introduced in fall 2013 with 82 students participating. In the fall of 2018, HCC and HCPSS branded the program as JumpStart and added 60-credit, 30-credit, and flexible programs at Oakland Mills and River Hill high schools through a combination of HCC and HCPSS based courses. During the 2020 spring semester, 1,563 students were enrolled in dual enrollment courses, increasing to 1,798 for the fall 2020 semester.

Additionally, data points to the positive influence of dual enrollment participation on high school attendance, especially among students who participate for a second year.

Further data indicates a direct correlation between participation in dual enrollment opportunities and postsecondary readiness. By the end of Grade 11, at least 95% of dual enrollment participants met the criteria for readiness for postsecondary success defined by the Maryland Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), compared to 47% of same-grade peers who did not participate in dual enrollment courses. Similarly, by the end of Grade 12, at least 95% of dual enrollment participants met postsecondary success readiness criteria, compared to 66% of same-grade peers who did not participate.

All JumpStart students are able to earn college credit at 50 percent off HCC’s tuition cost. Students receiving Free or Reduced-price Meal services (FARMs) have no tuition costs and are only responsible for covering fees and books.

The spring semester starts at HCC on Jan. 30. Students and families interested in participating in dual enrollment are encouraged to reach out to [email protected][email protected] or connect with their school counselor for assistance. For more information, visit or