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NEW: UPDATES TO ASCENT & CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT PROGRAMS
The PWR of Concurrent Enrollment
The Concurrent Enrollment (CE) program provides high school students with the opportunity to enroll in postsecondary courses and earn college credit at no tuition cost to them or their families.
Colorado data shows that students in Concurrent Enrollment programs are more likely to:
- enroll in college within one year following high school graduation,
- complete their postsecondary education, and
- have higher workforce earnings after postsecondary completion.
Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness (PWR)
Expanding pathways from high school to postsecondary opportunities is essential to increasing the number of postsecondary degrees earned by Coloradans and decreasing high school dropout rates. Concurrent enrollment programs help students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be postsecondary and workforce ready.
Annual Report on Dual and Concurrent Enrollment
CDE collaborated with the Department of Higher Education to release the Annual Report on Dual and Concurrent Enrollment in Colorado with new data highlighting the enrollment and outcomes of Concurrent Enrollment students in the 2019-2020 school year.
- Concurrent Enrollment continues to see sustained increases in participation, with an annual growth rate of 16% percent statewide with 40,098 students participating in 2019-20.
- Statewide, 98 percent of school districts and 91 percent of high schools offer Concurrent Enrollment programs.
- Compared to the previous year, participation in Concurrent Enrollment increased 15.8% among American Indian or Alaska Native students, 27 percent among Asian students, 23.3 percent among African American students, 32.9% among Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students, 18.4 percent among Hispanic students, 18.6 percent among White, non-Hispanic students and 19.9 percent among students identifying as more than one race.
- High school students attempted a total of 340,181 Concurrent Enrollment credit hours with nearly 93 percent of all hours passed.
- 64 percent of Concurrent Enrollment students were enrolled in a credential-seeking program.
- Through Concurrent Enrollment or ASCENT programs, 2,877 students earned some type of postsecondary credential in 2019-20 while still in high school. This is a nearly 8% decrease over last year’s total high school credential completion number (3,116). Credential completion increased among all credential types except less than 1-year certificates. Since this year’s report includes data from Spring 2020, impacts of COVID-19 and the disruption of the academic year could contribute to this drop.
Districts use per pupil revenue to pay the tuition for the postsecondary courses at the resident community college rate directly to the institution on behalf of the student. The district must enter into a cooperative agreement with a qualified institution of higher education that outlines how credits will be awarded, the negotiated tuition rate, and the establishment of an academic plan of study for students to support ongoing counseling and career planning.
In May 2009, the Colorado legislature passed the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act (CEPA), 22-35-101 through 22-25-114, C.R.S. Senate Bill 19-176 updated this legislation.
The Act created the Concurrent Enrollment program, defined as the simultaneous enrollment of a qualified student in a local education provider and in one or more postsecondary courses, including academic or career and technical education courses, which may include course work related to apprenticeship programs or internship programs at an institution of higher education. The collective intent is to broaden access to and improve the quality of concurrent enrollment programs, improve coordination between institutions of secondary education and institutions of higher education and ensure financial transparency and accountability.