Innovating to Increase Enrollment Rates at Community Colleges with John Jabara

Community College Presidents I speak with are prioritizing dual enrollment strategies to attract feeder high school students. For the college, dual enrollment represents a path to new student acquisition growth after enrollment rates dropped during the pandemic. For students and their parents, access to community college courses provides academic options not available at their high schools. It can also generate college credit and industry-relevant certifications, resulting in money saved on higher education costs.

Data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that high school dual enrollment rose 11.5% from the Fall 2021 to Fall 2022, indicating ongoing growth. Further research conducted by the United States Department of Education found that of 88% of high schools offering dual enrollment, only 34% of students take advantage of these courses. University Startups sees three ideal opportunities to innovate here and provide gains for all involved. 


High-Interest Courses delivered in the high school can attract students to community college programming. College preparation, entrepreneurship, driver’s education, career exploration, coding, and internships/job readiness are just some of the many topics students want to learn more about. 

Additional Counseling Resources from the community college are desperately needed in many high schools due to current counselor shortages.

Community colleges can leverage on-campus career coaches who can be trained to efficiently impact a large number of students in their partner high schools. With added IT support tools, they can expand their reach even further within the high schools.

Student & Parent Marketing is critical to generating awareness about community college options. Even without massive marketing budgets, smaller community colleges can be targeted in their promotion to select specific student populations and their parents with unique materials, events, and IT support.

About John Jabara: Jabara started and ran international business units at GlaxoSmithKline, and teaches Technology Startups and Social Entrepreneurship at Georgetown and the University of Maryland. John is a two-time Entrepreneurial Excellence Award Winner at Georgetown for Outstanding Mentorship as an Entrepreneur in Residence, and his student teams have won school and industry awards, government grants, and investor funding. His book Mastering Customer Interviews for Entrepreneurs is used in new business design courses nationwide. As a three-time startup founder, John was named ‘Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year’ by the Clean Energy Center, and his company was awarded ‘Maryland Incubator Company of the Year’ and ‘Best For Environment’ by the non-profit B-Lab from 2015-2017.

About University Startups: Founded in 2020, University Startups is committed to creating opportunities for students and lifelong learners to expand their worlds beyond a traditional curriculum. The organization empowers students by fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, which helps students to think creatively and find ways to translate their passions into real-world experiences. Whether students want to start a business, attend college, or find a job, University Startups uses proprietary instructional courses and groundbreaking technologies to get them there. All classes are designed by expert instructors from top-tier universities. 

For more information on how University Startups can help your community college recruit high school students and transform lives, please contact us at

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