The Texas Legislature has greatly expanded access to dual-credit courses for high school students. (Dual credit courses are taught in the high schools, generally by high school teachers, and carry both high school and college credit.) House Bill 505, which is now law, prohibits the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from setting any limits on the number of classes or hours a student can earn through dual-credit courses in any given year. It also opens the dual-credit class offerings to freshmen and sophomores in high school. Previously only juniors and seniors were eligible for such classes.
While both high school and community college administrations tend to favor the change arguing that studies show students taking dual-credit courses are more likely to complete high school and attend college, many faculty are concerned that dual-credit classes do not carry the rigor of regular college courses and some believe a student is able to get a substantial part of his degree hours from courses with reduced expectations. There is also the belief that administrations favor the courses because they increase enrollment numbers.