Dual enrollment boosts college success

Texas students who completed even a single college class in high school were significantly more likely to attend college and eventually graduate, compared to similar students not in dual enrollment programs, reports a Jobs for the Future study.

New York City’s P-Tech is drawing students willing to spend six years in high school to earn a diploma and an associate degree in computer information systems or engineering technology. IBM worked with city colleges to develop the program.

‘Dual’ students flood Florida colleges

Dual enrollment  – taking college classes in high school –is so popular in Florida that it’s breaking community college budgets.

Chicago plans six-year tech high schools

Chicago will open five new six-year high schools that will let students complete “grade 14″ with an associate degree and high-tech job skills. IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions and Verizon will develop curricula, mentor students, provide summer internships and guarantee a “first-in-line” job interview after graduation.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Dual enrollment classes let a wide range of students — not just high achievers — earn college and high school credits at the same time. Does it raise the odds of college success?

College in high school

Providing college classes at high school campuses present a series of challenges, writes a community college dean. Principals want to maintain their traditional schedule and authority structure.

Community colleges have created “corporate colleges” that customize learn-while-you-earn training for  apprentices in local industries.

Colleges greenlight data mining

Data-mining can predict which online students are “green” (likely to pass with a C or better), “yellow” (headed for a D) or “red” (likely to fail). An Arizona community college that’s pioneered online courses is looking for ways to green its students.

At a magnet high school in Florida, students can graduate with college credits and certifications in information technology.

Dual enrollment works only if it’s rigorous

Dual enrollment — college classes for high school students — boosts college-going and graduation rates only if students take rigorous classes on a college campus, a study finds. There are no gains for marginal students.

Also on Community College Spotlight: More degrees for the dollar?

And, for-profit students are less likely to be working and earn less than similar students who enrolled at a public or private nonprofit college, suggests a new study.

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.

Colleges question dual enrollees' readiness

Many more high school students are earning college credits through dual-enrollment programs, but some colleges question whether they’re truly doing college-level work. More colleges also are refusing to give credit to students who’ve passed AP exams.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Fewer California community college students are transferring to the California State system, while more are choosing private and out-of-state colleges and universities. That’s much more expensive, but not if students factor in the time it will take to get the courses they need and complete a degree.

From 11th grade to college

Indiana will encourage students to skip senior year and go straight to college, the Hechinger Report notes. Under Gov. Mitch Daniels’ plan, high school students who complete their core requirements by the end of their junior year can go straight to college with a scholarship based on how much money the state would have spent — $6,000 to $8,000 for most — on their 12th-grade education.

Daniels said he came up with the idea after years of asking seniors he met across the state what they were up to and too often being told “not much.”

“I kept bumping into seniors who said, ‘Well, I’m done,’ ” he said. “They’d laugh and tell me they were having a good time. We are spending thousands of dollars on students who are eligible to move on.”

Senior year is a time for “drift and disconnection,” concludes the National Commission on the High School Senior Year.

Solutions over the past decade have trended toward mixing college and high school courses through dual-enrollment programs or early-college high schools, where students can earn an associate degree and a diploma.

But Daniels’ preferred strategy — shortening high school altogether — also is catching on.

In Idaho, 21 districts will give early-graduation scholarships. Kentucky is thinking about it. In the fall, eight states will begin a program that lets students test out of the last two years of high school and go directly to community college. The National Center on Education and the Economy and the Gates Foundation are backing the idea.

One of my best friends in high school left after 11th grade for college. She was impatient to get on with it. (She dropped out after a year to organize the proletariat for the revolution.)

My daughter’s half-sister skipped high school entirely. Now 18, she will earn a bachelor’s in classics, summa cum laude, on Saturday from the University of Santa Clara and go on to Berkeley for her PhD. It was a challenge to buy her a graduation card. Nothing seemed to fit quite right.

Update: Ed Next looks at high school students who attend college part-time.

College for low-achieving 11th graders?

College classes for low-achieving 11th graders? It’s a hot idea, writes Community College Dean. And a bad one.

Also on Community College Spotlight: First, he earned an associate degree. Next he’ll graduate from  high school.