DUAL ENROLLMENT

FLORIDA

As defined by Florida statutes for dual enrollment programs, students who are eligible for dual enrollment are permitted to enroll in college-level courses for dual credit conducted during school hours, after school hours, and during the summer term.  In addition, dual enrollment courses are available on the high school, local career education center, community college, or state university campuses. In 2006, House Bill 7087, commonly known as the “A++ Bill,” included language that requires district school boards to include access to dual enrollment courses on the high school campus whenever possible.

In addition to traditional dual enrollment, Florida offers a program called “early admission,” which is a form of dual enrollment permitting high school students to enroll in college or career courses on a full-time basis on a college or technical center campus. A student must enroll for a minimum of 12 college credit hours per semester or the equivalent to participate in the early admission program. As with all dual enrollment programs, students earn both high school and college/career credits for courses successfully completed. Participation in the early admission program is limited to students who have completed a minimum of six semesters of full-time secondary enrollment, including studies undertaken in the ninth grade.

Overall, Florida has one of the most supportive state-level policy environments in the nation for dual enrollment, particularly in the areas of funding and program quality. Students who attend a Florida public college or university are exempt from tuition, registration, matriculation, instructional materials, or laboratory fees for courses taken through dual enrollment, and there is no cost to school districts for college tuition.  Reimbursement for postsecondary institutions is based on proportional shares of full-time equivalent enrollment for dual enrollment students attending Florida College System institutions. 

The Articulation Coordinating Committee, a K-20 advisory body appointed by the Commissioner of Education, develops policy recommendations and administrative standards for dual enrollment coordination to ensure high-quality implementation across the state. To develop dual enrollment programs, institutional partners must form Interinstitutional Articulation Agreements that define program elements related to student eligibility criteria, course and instructor quality, credit transferability expectations, and institutional roles and responsibilities. State policies also require that postsecondary institutions provide comprehensive supports and professional development to all dual enrollment instructors regardless of the location of course delivery. Finally, the Articulation Coordinating Committee requires that the Division of Community Colleges conduct a comprehensive review of dual enrollment programs every three years. The reviews are to include information such as annual participation rates by gender and ethnicity, student performance in courses, and college persistence rates of dual enrollment graduates. 

Dual enrollment operates out of the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Articulation and is governed by policies developed by the State Board of Education.

 

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

Policy mandates an “Interinstitutional Articulation Agreement” between school districts and postsecondary partners for dual enrollment. This agreement must include student eligibility requirements to enroll in college-level courses for dual credit. 

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.

In Evidence

High school students must  obtain a minimum score in the appropriate section on a common placement test adopted by the State Board of Education. However, dual enrollment students must also meet eligibility criteria such as a minimum 3.0 GPA in high school courses for general studies, which does not distinguish by proficiency in a given subject area.  To participate in courses counting toward a career certificate, students mush have a 2.0 GPA, though exceptions may be granted based on terms defined in the articulation agreement between secondary and postsecondary partners.

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

In Evidence

The eligibility criteria described above take into account multiple indicators. In addition, Florida College System institution boards of trustees can establish additional eligibility requirements to ensure student readiness for postsecondary instruction.  

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.

In Evidence

In Florida, the dual enrollment program is the enrollment of an eligible secondary student or home education student in a postsecondary course creditable toward high school completion and a career certificate or an Associate's or Bachelor's degree.

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

In Evidence

Faculty members teaching courses in dual enrollment programs must submit a copy of the course syllabus to the discipline chair or department chair of the postsecondary institution before each term. Furthermore, course requirements—such as tests, papers, or other assignments—for dual enrollment students must be at the same level of rigor or depth as those for all nondual enrollment postsecondary students.

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

In Evidence

Policy dictates that college course instructors in dual enrollment programs meet the qualifications required by the entity accrediting the postsecondary institution offering the course. These qualifications must apply to all instructors regardless of where college-level courses are delivered. Also, statewide dual enrollment standards endorsed by the Articulation Coordinating Committee require that dual enrollment instructors be observed by a community college faculty member or administrator for evaluation.

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.

In Evidence

Students in dual enrollment can be included in calculations of full time equivalent student enrollment by a district school board at a maximum of 1.0 FTE. Students can also be calculated “as the proportional shares of full-time equivalent enrollments they generate for a Florida College System institution or university conducting the dual enrollment instruction.” 

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

In Evidence

Students who attend a Florida public college or university are exempt from registration, tuition, and laboratory fees.

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

In Evidence

Policy does not address the flexible use of funding streams.  However, public high school students are to have laboratory and instructional materials provided free of charge. Students enrolled in home education programs or private secondary schools must provide their own materials.

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.

In Evidence

Appointed by the Commissioner of Education, Florida’s Articulation Coordinating Committee is a K-20 advisory board charged with providing oversight and advisement for the state’s college and career transition activities, including dual enrollment and early admission programs.

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

In Evidence

Policy does not require annual reporting of dual enrollment participation at the state level. However, the Articulation Coordinating Committee requires that the Division of Community Colleges conduct a comprehensive program review of dual enrollment programs every three years. The reviews are to include information such as annual participation rates by gender and ethnicity, student performance in courses, and college persistence rates of dual enrollment graduates.

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.

In Evidence

The state has a P-20 system database and can track dual enrollment students across the K-12 and postsecondary education systems.

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.

In Evidence

According to statute, school districts and community colleges must annually develop or revise an Interinstitutional Articulation Agreement that delineates a variety of institutional responsibilities and roles. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: defining eligibility criteria; determining a process for monitoring student performance; sharing information about dual enrollment opportunities with students and families; explaining information regarding funding and program costs and responsibilities for all parties; and educating students and families on credit transferability and articulation policies within the state’s postsecondary education systems.

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 Articulation Coordinating Committee requires a full-time faculty contact or liaison to support instructors in dual enrollment programs, but policy does not require liaisons to provide support or advisement for students. Articulation agreements between secondary and postsecondary partners must outline institutional responsibilities within the partnership, including the monitoring of student performance while participating in the dual enrollment program. These provisions notwithstanding, the state does not explicitly define student support roles for institutions or identify a common support structure for students participating in dual enrollment programs.

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