Integrating College in High School Programs
In this report, All4Ed, in partnership with Education Reform Now, Empower Schools, Jobs for the Future, KnowledgeWorks, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships and UnidosUS, urges Congress to address the substantial decline in college enrollment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in the Build Back Better Act by:
- expanding access to dual enrollment programs as part of free community college packages, and
- expanding and investing in activities to support students’ transitions from high school to higher education.
College in high school programs, such as dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools, are proven mechanisms for increasing postsecondary program enrollment and completion and an essential strategy for addressing the serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on college enrollment and success.
To maximize the impact of the free community college proposal within the Build Back Better Act, and not undermine dual enrollment, financial support for early college credit should be incorporated into the free college package. If community college is made free without also making early college credits free, there may be an unintentional disincentive for students to participate in dual enrollment programs. The choices for students and families in many states would be to (1) pay for college credit while in high school, or (2) wait to take the college courses for free in community college.