California Educator

March 2016

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Page 41 of 55

F O R Y E A R S , high school students throughout California have been a l l o w e d t o t a k e t h e o c c a s i o n a l c l a s s a t t h e i r l o c a l c o m m u n i t y college. Done right, these concur- rent enrollment programs increase transfer rat es, student ret ention and career opportunities. Done wrong, they can result in funding problems, contract viola- tions, safety concerns and academic freedom infringements. The nomenclature for the pro- g r a m s i s p r o f u s e — d u a l a n d c o n c u r re n t e n r o l l m e n t , sp e c i a l admit, and middle college are all terms for programs that allow high school students to enroll in college courses. Whatever the name, con- current enrollment programs have become so popular that California i s encouraging th e de velopm ent of more formal partnership agree- ments between community colleges and local school districts. AB 288, the College and Career Access Pathways Act, authored by A ssembly Memb er Chri s Holden (D-Pasadena), expands of ferings for high school students, allowing them to take more college courses and be introduced to college-level coursework both on a high school campus and at a community college. When signing the bill into law in October, Gov. Jerr y Brown wrote, "is bill is an example of how K-12 and higher education institutions can work together on a local level to solve persistent problems, in this case, how to create better pathways to college and career for students who are struggling or are underrep- resented in higher education." Th e m o v e to creat e p athway s to allow more concurrent enroll- ment programs was bolstered in January 2015 by President Obama's A Clear Pathway to College? Dual enrollment programs present challenges as well as opportunities By DINA MARTIN 40

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