The inaugural 2023-24 cohort of the Digital Innovation for Equity & Excellence in College Admissions (DIEECA) community seeks to open additional postsecondary pathways for the pool of well-prepared, diverse high school graduates in the United States. Composed of 12 highly selective colleges and universities from the American Talent Initiative, these institutions are leveraging technology solutions to devise novel strategies that enhance the recruitment and enrollment of students from low- and moderate-income households. Either by working with partners to create a direct recruitment pipeline or developing their own high-quality online courses for college credit, DIECCA members are paving the way for increased diversity in higher education. 

A new issue brief shares insights from the DIECCA work to date, including an overview of online dual enrollment programs and emerging themes from DIECCA institutions leveraging this model. The brief draws on learnings from in-person and virtual engagements with DIECCA cohort members as they developed their initial ideas and drafted actionable implementation plans in spring and summer 2024.  

While still early in their implementation, emerging themes from the initial planning phases for the cohort highlight the importance of:  

  • Providing personalized student support. DIEECA institutions are tailoring their dual enrollment digital education programs to reach different student groups effectively, ensuring they can reach the full range of talented students including those who might otherwise consider selective institutions out of reach for either admissions or financial reasons.  
  • Use of data to drive program development. Institutions are leveraging data to track and improve student progress, with plans to integrate program participation data into application processes to better assess college readiness.  
  • Innovative educational approaches. Institutions are exploring using dual enrollment course success as an alternative measure of college readiness, potentially reducing reliance on standardized tests. Collaborative efforts to establish clear credit transfer pathways aim to reduce the time to complete a degree and thereby the cost of obtaining a post-secondary credential. These innovations aim to create scalable models that foster inclusive success across diverse student populations. 
  • Exploring opportunities to collaborate. DIEECA institutions expressed a strong interest in innovative collaboration strategies to enhance effectiveness within and across institutions. Internally, integrating admissions and digital learning offices facilitates cohesive program development. Externally, institutions are exploring possibilities for sharing curricula and resources among institutions as a means of offering a greater number of opportunities for students and generating more information for admissions offices as they look to increase their pool of talented, diverse students.  

These efforts illustrate the various methods DIECCA members are utilizing to create equitable access and outcomes in higher education through scalable and sustainable models. If you’re interested in learning more or becoming a part of the DIECCA cohort contact me at for more information.