DUAL ENROLLMENT TASK FORCE RECOMMENDS
UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO COLLEGE IN HIGH SCHOOL
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Dual Enrollment Task Force, a group created through Act 128 of the 2019 Legislative Session, adopted recommendations today that call for universal access to college coursework for all high school students, designed to significantly increase future early college opportunities statewide. Additionally, a $5.5 million allocation in the Governor’s proposed budget supports the Task Force’s work by potentially funding dual enrollment pilot programs aimed at increasing the capacity of teachers to deliver college-level courses as well as student and counselor capacity building ($3.5M). The budget also includes funding for mobile labs for community colleges ($2M) to bring career and technical training directly to high schools with a priority given to rural communities.
Dual enrollment is defined as high school students participating in a postsecondary education course for which both college and high school credit may be earned. Act 128 of the 2019 Regular Legislative Session created the Dual Enrollment Task Force under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents to make recommendations for the establishment of a statewide dual enrollment framework to address uneven participation especially by low income and minority students.
“Universal access to dual enrollment will be a game changer in our state,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “ No matter your race or place, offering an early college experience to every student, whether academic or career technical, sends an important message, that you must continue education and training beyond high school and that now is the time to get started on that path,” said Reed.
“The expansion of dual enrollment access will be key in Louisiana’s effort to expand life opportunities for all high school graduates,” said State Superintendent of Education John White. “If our state is to achieve greater levels of upward mobility for its people, especially those disadvantaged by circumstance and history, we will need to be relentless in finding new ways of going about our business. I appreciate greatly Dr. Reed and the entire Dual Enrollment Task Force for their willingness to join us in this call for change,” said White.
The Task Force, made up of K-12, higher education and good government leaders, began their work in July meeting across the state to learn more about various dual enrollment models while also analyzing course offerings, participation rates, disparities, funding sources and practices across the country. Their first priority was to establish a statewide framework to make universal access to dual enrollment a reality across Louisiana, citing the benefits in both academic performance and potential cost savings for families.
“Throughout this whole process we analyzed a wealth of information and used it to understand how to provide more access for students to dual enrollment all across the state,” said Louisiana Association of School Superintendents Executive Director Mike Faulk. “I look forward to the continued conversations with all stakeholders and the legislature as we move ahead.”
“The process of studying dual enrollment in Louisiana used by the Task Force has been solution driven and very transparent,” said Louisiana Association of School Boards Executive Director Janet Pope. “As we’ve met, there has been true leadership demonstrated as well as an infusion of energy that has broken down silos among all the key partners. This is just the start of continued collaboration among all the stakeholders and I look forward to seeing the expansion of dual enrollment statewide,” said Pope.
The following guiding principles anchoring the Task Force’s work will be recommended to the Governor and the Legislature:
- All high schools shall provide access to dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, and/or International Baccalaureate courses in all core academic content areas and in career/technical fields.
- The availability of dual enrollment courses in both technical and academic fields is critical to supporting the varied postsecondary pathways that students pursue. Therefore, courses must be accessible to Louisiana’s students in both areas, with opportunities provided for students to enroll in either or a combination of both.
- Expansion of dual enrollment opportunities should focus on increased access and equitable participation.
- Each high school student should be able to enroll before graduation in at least four dual enrollment courses for which they are eligible, with no tuition or fees charged to the student and minimized cost of attendance expenses such as textbook, testing, and transportation costs.
- Meaningful, predictive assessments administered in 10th grade or earlier will determine the college readiness of students and identify those in need of additional preparation.
- Institutions of higher education should emphasize consistent academic quality in the delivery of postsecondary courses offered for dual enrollment, regardless of course location, instructor type, or delivery modality.
- Existing state and federal funding streams should be utilized to their full extent to expand equitable participation in dual enrollment.
- With a focus on access and equity, the state’s K-12 Accountability System, overseen by BESE, should provide appropriate incentives for schools to increase successful student completion of dual enrollment courses and college-level assessments.
In addition to the guiding principles, the Task Force will also be supporting the dedication of initial seed money, subject to legislative appropriation, to fund a Dual Enrollment Innovation and Equity Grant to build capacity prior to a statewide launch of the program. Areas of high need include:
- Incentives for high school teachers to obtain graduate courses or technical certifications necessary to be credentialed as an instructor by a college or university;
- Incentives to increase student preparation and readiness, including but not limited to early predictive assessments, tutoring, test preparation and other effective interventions;
- Incentives for high school counselors to receive the training necessary to support students in their dual enrollment course selections and overall program participation
- Support for districts to establish and sustain intensive cohort-based pathway programs that increase the preparation of students for college and careers, including Early College High Schools and Career Academies; and
- Development and adoption of Open Educational Resources to reduce textbook and materials costs.
The report adopted today also identifies specific recommendations to be considered by the Board of Regents, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Education to improve policy conditions and increase coordination with the goal of accelerating high-quality dual enrollment offerings.
“Expanding dual enrollment opportunities is a huge win for everyone,” said Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin. “It helps our students get a head start on college or their careers, it saves families money, it helps strengthen our workforce, and improves the chances that students will earn a high-quality credential. To the degree that we can increase the education, training, and skills of our people, we increase the prosperity of our state,” said Erwin.
A final report is expected to be submitted to the Legislature by the task force as required in Act 128 by October 1, 2020. The Dual Enrollment Task Force will continue to meet regularly and discuss further refinement of a statewide framework in the months ahead.
“This is a great example of what we can accomplish when high education collaborates deeply with our teachers, principals, counselors, school boards and other educational organizations to rethink delivery models to best achieve student success. Louisiana prospers when we get this work right and I am grateful for the full participation of the task force membership in getting to this milestone,” said Commissioner Reed.
Read the full Dual Enrollment Task Force Report here.