Earn College Credit in High School

Kirkwood partners with local school districts to offer opportunities for high school students to enroll part-time in college-level courses. Credits earned through these partnerships count toward a student’s high school diploma AND their future college degree – all at NO COST to you or your family!

Most classes can be taken either at a Kirkwood location or a partnering high school, so there are many ways for area students to get a jump start on their college degree at Kirkwood. 

You can test the waters with one or two unrelated college-level courses, or complete a packaged sequence of career-focused courses in a Kirkwood Career Academy.

Apply for Dual Credit Explore Career Academies

Your best first step will be to talk to your high school counselor. They'll talk you though important information and make sure you meet all necessary requirements – you may have to be a certain age, have a minimum GPA, and may also need permission from your parents and/or school administrators.

Next steps:


Contact the nearest Kirkwood location for more information.


Certain College Credit in High School programs have different qualifications that must be met – such as age, prerequisite courses, and minimum performance measures on placement testing.

To find out if a student meets Kirkwood’s enrollment requirements, they should begin by meeting with their high school counselor to explore their options. 

Other Indicators of Success

Our courses fit into a variety of different programs and will transfer to most colleges, including guaranteed transfers to Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI.

How Courses Transfer

Alburnett Jr./Sr. High School

Anamosa High School

Belle Plaine Jr./Sr. High School

Benton Community High School

Calamus-Wheatland High School

Cascade High School

Cedar Rapids Community Schools

Center Point Urbana High School

Central City High School

Clear Creek Amana High School

English Valley High School

Highland High School

Hillcrest Academy

HLV Junior-Senior High School

Iowa City Community Schools

Iowa Valley High School

Keota High School

Liberty High School 

Linn Mar High School

Lisbon High School

Lone Tree High School

Maquoketa Valley High School

Marion High School

Midland High School

Mid-Prairie High School

Monticello High School

Mount Vernon High School

North Cedar High School

North-Linn High School

Prairie High School

Regina High School

Solon High School

Springville High School

Tipton Community High School

Vinton-Shellsburg High School

Waco High School

Washington High School

West Branch High School

West Delaware High School

Williamsburg High School

Winfield-Mount Union Jr./Sr. High School

Xavier High School

Why Earn College Credit in High School? 

Big Cost Savings

Dual-enrolled students earn both high school and college credit at NO COST to them or their families! Last year alone, families saved $8.2 million in college tuition by earning college credit in high school.


Real-world Experience

Primarily designed for high school juniors and seniors, Career Academy programs focus on career exploration while also aligning with industry workforce needs. Students can even earn industry-recognized certifications for immediate employment opportunities.

Kirkwood consistently meets with industry representatives to find out what skills they want to see in new employees, and then builds academy programs specifically around that information. 


The Proof Is in the Numbers

According to a recent Iowa State University study, students entering college with prior college credit have:

  • Higher grade point averages (their first semester and year)
  • Higher graduation rates
  • Graduate in less time than students without prior college credit
  • Change majors less than students without prior college credit
  • Add minors and second majors more than students without prior college credit
Claudia Gay

“Claudia Gay graduated from Cedar Rapids Washington High School on May 28, 2022 — two weeks after earning her associate’s degree from Kirkwood Community College. Claudia, 18, was able to earn both degrees, and accumulate 65 college credits, through Kirkwood’s College Credit in High School program.”

Claudia Gay,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Read more about Claudia Gay on the Kirkwood Online Newsroom.



Your best resource for information about earning college credit in high school will be your high school counselor or the contact at your nearest Kirkwood location.

Frequently Asked Questions