Dual Enrollment - State Profile

Dual Enrollment - State Profile - Colorado

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Methodology:
This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Last updated: December 2013

Data compiled by Jennifer Dounay Zinth: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.
 

Program Basics
Statewide policy in place Yes
Definition or title of program Colorado has two programs: Concurrent Enrollment allows students in grades 9-12 to enroll in postsecondary coursework. The ASCENT (accelerating students through concurrent enrollment) or “5th year” program allows students who do not need postsecondary remediation and who have completed or are on schedule to complete at least 12 hours of postsecondary coursework prior to the end of 12th grade to concurrently enroll in postsecondary courses in the year after the student was enrolled in 12th grade. An ASCENT participant is not considered a high school graduate until completing participation in the ASCENT program and any remaining graduation requirements.

Unless otherwise indicated, all provisions in this profile refer to concurrent enrollment.
Where courses provided
  • At high school
  • At postsecondary institution
  • Virtual program
Postsecondary and/or secondary credit earned Both
Students may take developmental/remedial courses through dual enrollment program Yes
CTE component Yes. Concurrent enrollment students may enroll in postsecondary CTE courses. However, a student may not concurrently enroll in a course offered by a postsecondary career and technical education program unless the course is included in a postsecondary degree or certificate program approved by the state board for community colleges and occupational education. The instructor of such a course must possess a career and technical education teaching credential that has been authorized by the state board for community colleges and occupational education.
Unique characteristics Concurrent Enrollment and ASCENT: A “legislative declaration” makes clear that 2009 policy changes were intended to expand the mission of concurrent enrollment programs to serve a wider range of students, particularly those who represent communities with historically low college participation rates, and enhance program access and quality.

Concurrent Enrollment: In considering applications for a student to concurrently enroll in an institution of higher education, a superintendent, designee, or chief administrator must give priority consideration to qualified students who, by the time they would concurrently enroll, will have completed the high school graduation requirements and are applying for concurrent enrollment to begin earning credits toward a postsecondary degree or certificate or, if required to complete basic skills courses, to complete the courses during the remainder of the 12th-grade year.

A cooperative agreement between a local education provider and an institution of higher education must include consideration and identification of ways in which concurrently enrolled students can remain eligible for interscholastic high school activities.

Each high school student must have an individual career and academic plan. Each plan must include a career planning and guidance component and a portfolio that reflects, among other components, any concurrent enrollment credits earned.

Concurrent enrollment students must register for the College Opportunity Fund (COF) stipend. Participating students must confirm their understanding that with the exception of basic skills credits, credits earned will be deducted from the COF lifetime account (145.0 credit hours) for courses being taken at institutions of higher education that participate in the College Opportunity Fund.

ASCENT: The department of education includes ASCENT program participants in school accountability reporting requirements, regardless of whether an ASCENT program participant has completed his/her graduation requirements.

A 13-member concurrent enrollment advisory board includes representatives of the state systems of K-12 and higher education, gubernatorial representatives, the director of accreditation and regional services in the department of education (or designee), and two representatives of postsecondary career and technical education programs. The board is responsible for (1) establishing guidelines for the administration of the ASCENT program, (2) advising and assisting local education providers and institutions of higher education in preparing cooperative agreements, and (3) making recommendations as necessary to the general assembly, the state board, and the commission concerning the improvement or updating of state policies relating to concurrent enrollment programs, including but not limited to recommendations of policies that will allow every local education provider in the state to have adequate resources to enter into at least one cooperative agreement and recommendations of a funding allocation model. The board must annually report to the state board and the commission on higher education on any guidelines the board has established for administration of the ASCENT program, and any recommendations the board makes to improve or update state policies relating to concurrent enrollment programs.

Pending voter approval of a tax increase for funding P-12 education by November 2017: The department of education must develop a report on return on investment (ROI) to districts and charter schools and a cost study by January 31, 2016 and every four years thereafter. The ROI report must analyze, among other indicators, concurrent enrollment, including participating in the ASCENT program.
Access
Offering mandatory or voluntary Concurrent Enrollment: Voluntary. Student participation subject to approval by district superintendent or designee (or charter school or BOCES administrator), and postsecondary institutions are not required to enter into a cooperative agreement with a local education provider or allow the concurrent enrollment of eligible students. However, each public institution of higher education is strongly encouraged to allow the concurrent enrollment of qualified students. However, each public institution of higher education is strongly encouraged to allow the concurrent enrollment of qualified students.

An institution of higher education may limit the number of qualified students the institution allows to enroll. If an institution of higher education refuses to allow a qualified student to concurrently enroll, the institution must provide a written explanation of its refusal to the student and the student's local education provider.

ASCENT: Voluntary. Student must be selected by his/her principal.
College partners can be 2-year/4-year/both Both. Postsecondary career and technical education programs and accredited private baccalaureate-awarding institutions may also participate.
Student eligibility requirements
  • Written approval/recommendation. From district superintendent or designee. For charter school or board of cooperative services (BOCES) high school students, approval from the chief administrator of the charter school or BOCES high school.
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Other: Student must develop an academic plan of study describing all the courses the student intends to complete to satisfy his/her remaining graduation requirements. Before the student’s concurrent enrollment, the principal, a counselor, or a teacher advisor must approve the academic plan of study. For ASCENT program, a student must be selected by his/her principal, and designated by the department of education. An eligible student must be under age 21, have completed or be on schedule to complete at least 12 postsecondary credit hours before the end of 12th grade, not be in need of a basic skills course, be accepted into a postsecondary degree program at an institution of higher education, and meet any other selection criteria established by the Concurrent Enrollment Advisory Board.
Cap on number of credits students may earn No. With the exception of limits for fifth-year seniors, the state board may not limit the number of postsecondary courses, including academic courses and career and technical education courses, in which a qualified student may concurrently enroll during grades 9-12.
Students/parents must be notified of dual enrollment opportunities Yes. Each district, board of cooperative services (BOCES), and charter school must annually notify all students and parents of the opportunity for concurrent enrollment by qualified students in postsecondary courses, including academic courses and career and technical education courses.
Counseling/advising is made available to students Yes. The local education provider (school district, charter school, or board of cooperative services (BOCES)) and the institution of higher education must establish an academic program of study for each qualified student who concurrently enrolls in the institution. The academic program of study must include the academic plan of study the student has developed, indicating the courses the student intends to complete to satisfy high school graduation requirements, and a plan by which the local education provider must make ongoing counseling and career planning available to the student. Each local education provider must develop a standard Concurrent Enrollment application form, that must include verification that the student has been advised by the local education provider regarding Concurrent Enrollment participation if available, at the local education provider level, and each course is consistent with the student's Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP).

Each public school and charter school must ensure that, in developing and maintaining each student's ICAP, the counselor or teacher explains in writing to the student and parent the requirements for and benefits of concurrently enrolling in courses with an institution of higher education. Based on a request from the student or parent, the counselor or teacher must assist the student in course planning to enable the student to concurrently enroll in postsecondary courses.
Finance
Who is primarily responsible for paying tuition Local education provider (i.e., school district, charter school, or board of cooperative services (BOCES). A cooperative agreement must establish the tuition rate at which the local education provider pays the institution of higher education for any courses in which a student concurrently enrolls. The tuition rate must not exceed the student share of the tuition rate established for Colorado residents enrolled in the course (or if offered by a four-year institution, the student share of the tuition rate established for Colorado residents enrolled in a general studies course at a community college). However, nothing prohibits an institution of higher education from charging tuition or associated fees to a student or his/her parent or in addition to the tuition paid by the student's local education provider. If the student does not complete the course without the consent of the student’s principal, the student and parent must reimburse the local education provider for tuition paid.
How state funds participating high schools Both programs: Equal
How state funds participating postsecondary institutions Equal
Ensuring Program Quality
Instructor qualifications component Yes. The postsecondary institution is responsible for course content, placement of the student in the course, and the quality of instruction.

A postsecondary instructor may not be required to hold a teacher’s license.
Program reporting requirement Yes. The department of education and department of higher education must annually report to the education committees of the senate and house of representatives on concurrent enrollment students. The report must include (for the previous school year):
  • The number and names of local education providers and institutions of higher education that have entered into cooperative agreements
  • The number of students who participated in a concurrent enrollment program, including subtotals for each local education provider and each institution of higher education
  • Demographic information about students who participated in a concurrent enrollment program
  • The total number of credit hours completed at each institution of higher education by concurrent enrollment program students
  • The total number of basic skills courses completed at each institution of higher education in by concurrent enrollment students
  • The total tuition costs paid by local education providers to institutions of higher education in on behalf of concurrent enrollment program students, including subtotals for each local education provider and each institution of higher education
  • The total number of students designated by the department as ASCENT program participants
  • The postsecondary degree and certificate programs in which ASCENT program participants were concurrently enrolled, including subtotals indicating how many ASCENT program participants concurrently enrolled in each postsecondary degree and certificate program
  • Data indicating the total number and percentages of qualified students who failed to complete at least one course in which they concurrently enrolled
  • To the extent possible, data indicating the total number and percentage of students who concurrently enrolled in college courses who have completed a postsecondary degree.
These reports may include quantitative and qualitative analyses concerning student and administrator attitudes and behaviors, program costs and productivity, academic and administrative policies, program availability and variety, or any objectives of the ASCENT program, which studies may be prepared by a party other than the department or the department of higher education.

The institution of higher education must use the student’s unique student identifier.

In addition, school performance reports (public school accountability reports) must indicate concurrent enrollment courses made available by the school online or on the school campus.
Program evaluation component Yes. Statute creates a concurrent enrollment advisory board tasked with making recommendations to the general assembly, the state board, and the commission concerning the improvement or updating of state policies relating to concurrent enrollment programs, including policy recommendations that would allow every local education provider in the state to have adequate resources to enter into at least one cooperative agreement. The board must annually submit a report to the state board and the commission on higher education that includes guidelines for the administration of the ASCENT program and board recommendations for state policy changes.
Transferability
Public postsecondary institutions required to accept credits Yes, provided a course is a gtPathways (Guaranteed Transfer) course. Students who successfully complete a state guaranteed general education course will receive transfer credits applied to graduation requirements in all majors at all public institutions unless a specific statewide articulation agreement exists. More than 500 lower-division general education courses in 20 subject areas are approved for guaranteed transfer.

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