DUAL ENROLLMENT

CONNECTICUT

The University of Connecticut’s High School Cooperative Program is the nation’s oldest dual enrollment program, and Connecticut has several different dual enrollment initiatives in which community colleges and high schools partner to encourage students to enroll in college-level courses while in 11th or 12th grade. Some, like Connecticut Tech Prep Program under the Carl D. Perkins Act, enable students to enroll in technical courses while in high school—whereas others like the Bridges Program, offered through Housatonic Community College, work to prepare students at Bridgeport High School for entry into college.  Despite such offerings, Connecticut does not have a comprehensive statewide policy regulating its dual enrollment initiatives.

The Board of Trustees of Community-Technical Colleges Policy Manual governs most dual enrollment programs in the state. According to the manual, high school juniors and seniors are eligible for dual enrollment if they have an 80 percent academic average and receive endorsement from their high school principal. Also, dual enrollees earn one half credit toward their high school graduation requirements for each three-credit college-level semester course.   

While dual credit courses are free for students and districts, colleges must pay the full tuition for dual enrollees. To support colleges in this funding scheme, the chancellor can “allocate an amount determined annually by the board from the resources of the tuition fund to support the cost of tuition for high school students in the programs.” The size and consistency of these allocations, however, is unclear.

 

Policies

States should broaden eligibility requirements to permit students to participate in credit-bearing, college-level courses based on proficiency in those subjects even if they are not proficient in others. Student eligibility should also be jointly determined by secondary and postsecondary and use multiple measures: a combination of tests, end-of-course grades, teacher recommendations, and students’ work portfolios.

POLICY ELEMENT: Eligibility requirements are determined by the secondary and postsecondary sectors together.

Not in Evidence

Postsecondary institutions determine eligibility requirements for concurrent enrollment programs.

POLICY ELEMENT: High school students can participate in college courses based on their proficiency in those subjects, even if they are not proficient in others.

Not in Evidence

Students have to meet college admission standards for non remedial courses in all subject areas. More specifically, high school students need to meet minimum standards for state system institutions based upon scores on the ACT/SAT or a high school GPA of 3.0/4.0 and class rank.

POLICY ELEMENT: Eligibility is determined by a combination of tests, end-of-course grades, teacher recommendations, and student academic work.

In Evidence

Eligibility criteria provide multiple ways for students to become eligible for dual enrollment. For example, if students are unable to meet the minimum score on the ACT/SAT, they can still qualify for concurrent enrollment based on GPA and class rank.

POLICY ELEMENT: Eligibility requirements are determined by the secondary and postsecondary sectors together.

In Evidence

The community college and the school district provide admissions guidelines within certain parameters.

POLICY ELEMENT: High school students can participate in college courses based on their proficiency in those subjects, even if they are not proficient in others.

Not in Evidence

Juniors and seniors with a minimum of 80 percent scholastic average are eligible for admission. However, with the recommendation of the school principal, a flexible interpretation of the minimum scholastic average can be permissible. Nothing in policy allows for students to demonstrate eligibility by demonstrating proficiency in individual subject areas or courses.

POLICY ELEMENT: Eligibility is determined by a combination of tests, end-of-course grades, teacher recommendations, and students’ work.

Not in Evidence

Eligibility is determined by a student’s scholastic average and the principal’s recommendation.

States should ensure that college courses offered to high school students use the same syllabi and exams as comparable courses taught on a college campus, and that dual enrollees can receive dual-credit so they earn both high school and college credits upon successfully completing courses. In addition, the postsecondary institution conferring credit should set the qualifications for faculty teaching dual-credit courses.

POLICY ELEMENT: Students have the opportunity to take college courses for dual credit so they earn both high school and college credits upon successfully completing courses.

Not in Evidence

Courses at an institution accredited by the Department of Higher Education will be counted for half a high school credit. It is unclear how college credits for courses are assigned. At the district level, schools can but are not required to offer concurrent or supplemental credit for high school courses taken at community colleges.

POLICY ELEMENT: College courses offered within secondary schools use the same syllabus and exams as comparable courses taught on a college campus.

Not in Evidence

Not set in state policy.

POLICY ELEMENT: The postsecondary institution conferring credit sets the qualifications for faculty teaching courses taken for dual credit.

Not in Evidence

Not set in state policy.

States should develop funding policies that allow high school students to take college courses free of tuition and non-course-related charges, and that allow both districts and postsecondary institutions to claim per-pupil funding allocations to support the cost of offering college courses for dual-credit. There should also be provisions or special appropriations to support the development of early college schools targeting students who are underrepresented in higher education.

POLICY ELEMENT: Funding policies to support dual enrollment in the state create incentives for school districts to partner with institutions of higher education to offer dual credit opportunities for students.

Not in Evidence

The fact that postsecondary institutions pay all tuition costs and fees for high school students participating in dual enrollment programs could serve as a disincentive for these institutions to partner with high schools to offer college course-taking opportunities to high school students.

POLICY ELEMENT: Funding policies for dual enrollment support access for low-income high school students who are interested in taking college courses.

In Evidence

Postsecondary institutions pay all tuition costs and waive all fees for high school students participating in dual enrollment programs in Connecticut.

POLICY ELEMENT: Funding streams are flexible enough that funds can be used for professional development, books, lab fees, and student transportation.

Not in Evidence

It is up to the discretion of individual school districts as to whether or not they will pay the cost of textbooks and transportation for college courses taken by high school students. If a district decides to decline support, the cost of books and transportation is borne by students and families.

States should report annually on dual enrollment participation and impact and develop administrative structures to support program leaders and dual enrollment partnerships. States should also designate a state board or governing body as having the authority and responsibility to guide dual enrollment policy.

POLICY ELEMENT: States should designate a state board or governing body as having the authority and responsibility to guide dual enrollment policy, and develop an administrative structure to provide support to program leaders and dual enrollment partners.

Not in Evidence

The Board of Trustees approves the establishment of community college and high school partnerships programs, but Connecticut does not have a state administrative structure devoted specifically for supporting dual enrollment.

POLICY ELEMENT: States should report annually on dual enrollment participation and impact. 

Not in Evidence

The state has no policy on dual enrollment reporting.

States should develop unit-record statewide data systems that identify dual enrollees by demographic characteristics and monitor student progress longitudinally across the K-12 and higher education systems.

POLICY ELEMENT: States should develop a unit-record statewide data system that identifies dual enrollees by demographic characteristics and monitor student progress longitudinally across the K-12 and higher education systems.

Not in Evidence

Neither the state K-12 nor postsecondary data systems can identify dual enrollees.

States should require that districts and postsecondary institutions specify and document key roles and responsibilities in memoranda of understanding or cooperative agreements, including the provision of a college liaison for student advisement and support. States should also provide support and funding for programs designed to serve students who are over-age and undercredited, as well as youth who have dropped out of high school.

POLICY ELEMENT: States should require that districts and postsecondary institutions specify and document key roles and responsibilities in a memorandum of understanding or cooperative agreement.

Not in Evidence

Community colleges may enter into agreements with superintendents of schools or area districts, directors of vocational-technical high schools, and the administrative heads of parochial high schools. However, such agreements are optional and not mandated by state law.

POLICY ELEMENT: States should require each dual enrollment partnership to provide a liaison between high school and college partners, with responsibilities for advising students, assisting with course scheduling, and linking students to support services.

Not in Evidence

The college must provide for academic advisement and support services to dual enrollees, as well as assist students in class selection during the preregistration process.  These supports notwithstanding, policy does not mention provisions for a college liaison.

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