Dual enrollment isn’t fast track in Florida

Florida’s dual-enrollment students are double dipping, analysts complain. After earning a tuition-free associate degree in high school, students use state scholarships to fund three or four years at the University of Florida. Only six percent complete a bachelor’s degree in two years.

Also on Community College Spotlight: A Mississippi college will offer a military tech  degree for veterans and active-duty soldiers.

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  1. Cranberry says:

    As I’m not a Floridian, I have a hard time grasping the problem. Students enrolled in the program are better prepared for college than they would have been, had they remained in their local high schools. The students interviewed are setting their sights on ambitious majors in the sciences, math and econ, and they’re planning graduate study.

    The students involved do not regard a college degree as a credential. Isn’t that what one wants to see? Tuition for the University of Florida runs about $5,700, books and supplies ~$1,000. The per-student cost of education for K-12 runs around $6,000 to $7,500 (http://www.collinscenter.org/resource/resmgr/Education_Docs/Ed_Spending_Study.pdf).

    Why is this a problem? Providing high school students with a more demanding academic load increases their interest in education. It will be interesting to see if dual-enrollment increases the overall four-year college completion rate in the cohort of entering high school freshmen.

    I also note that several students repeated courses in college they had already completed in community college. That doesn’t really surprise me. The student-to-student word of mouth is sometimes more accurate than administrators’ official declarations.

    • I know UF grads and I’m told that there is quite a gap between Santa Fe CC and UF, which is hardly surprising. Gainesville is the flagship campus of the state schools, so it attracts a disproportionate number of the top students in the state. It would be more surprising if Santa Fe classes were as demanding as UF ones.

  2. Many students use double majors as a way to study a field of interest without sacrificing their chance of getting a decent job after graduation. I have many friends who combined a humanities degree (history, classics, comparative literature, etc.) or one of the less lucrative social science degrees (sociology, anthropology, religious studies, etc.) with a practical major like engineering or economics. Is this really such a bad thing?