The bill clarifies the differences between concurrent enrollment, dual enrollment programs, and other programs that enable a student to earn postsecondary credits while the student is enrolled in high school. Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, each school district, charter school, and public school operated by a board of cooperative services (local education provider) that enrolls students in grades 9 through 12 is required to provide the opportunity for concurrent enrollment. A local education provider cannot unreasonably deny approval for concurrent enrollment or limit the number of postsecondary courses in which a qualified student may enroll unless the local education provider is unable to provide access due to technological capacity. A local education provider may determine the manner in which it provides opportunities for concurrent enrollment.
The bill clarifies the information that a local education provider must provide to qualified students and their parents concerning concurrent enrollment, dual enrollment programs, the transferability of postsecondary course credits, and the costs that a qualified student or the student's parent may incur by enrolling in a postsecondary course through concurrent enrollment or a dual enrollment program. The bill clarifies that a qualified student and the student's parent are not required to pay tuition for concurrent enrollment or for enrolling in a postsecondary course through a pathways in technology early college high school, commonly known as a p-tech school.
The bill requires the department of education and the department of higher education to create a concurrent enrollment website to provide information to the public concerning the various types of programs available to enable students to earn postsecondary credits while enrolled in high school.
The bill creates the concurrent enrollment expansion and innovation grant program to provide grants to local education providers to use in starting to offer concurrent enrollment or expanding the availability of concurrent enrollment. The department of education must administer the grant program, including providing an annual report that explains how the grant money is used, who is enrolling in concurrent enrollment and the types of courses they are enrolling in, and the number and transferability of postsecondary credits earned through concurrent enrollment. The department must submit the report to the state board of education, the department of higher education, the Colorado commission on higher education, and the education committees of the general assembly. The department must also post the report to the concurrent enrollment website.
The bill directs the state board for community colleges and occupational education to provide management and coordination of efforts to implement efforts to maximize participation in concurrent enrollment through the community college system.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)