State Representative Len Greene spoke before the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee in support of H.B. 5278, An Act Facilitating Dual Enrollment Opportunities.
This legislation will allow a high school student to earn up to two years worth of tuition-free college credits while enrolled in high school. Under this program, high school students will take both high school and college level courses concurrently, and by the time they graduate high school, they will have a high school diploma, as well as an Associates Degree.
The legislation tasks The Board of Regents for Higher Education to identify and facilitate dual enrollment opportunities in high schools and public colleges and universities. The goal is for the Board of Regents to align secondary and postsecondary courses of study for high school students particpating in a program focused on work-based instruction.
“All too often, students graduate high school unprepared for the challenges facing them in college. In the worst scenarios, students enter their freshman year of college only to be met with the requirement of completeing non-credit remedial courses before being allowed to enroll in courses for credit,” said Greene. “By allowing students to enroll in a work-based program of study at the high school level, which includes an internship component, students will not only become more engaged in their studies and stay focused, but they will be able to attain the knowledge base necessary to succeed in their college courses.”
Greene went on to acknowledge the full support of the bill by his colleagues from the House Republican Caucus and urged the committee to move the bill through the legislative process.
“Finally, by allowing students the opportunity to earn college credits as a high school student, they will graduate with the knowledge and experience needed in order to partake in college internships and externships, and overall, gain richer college experience,” Greene said. “With a high school program consisting of a work-based instruction model, students will be exposed to insternship opportunities that they may otherwise not experience until the end of their college career. Teaching students the values assocaiated with a workplace environment at an early age will help them for when they take on internship roles in college, which may lead to a full time job once they graduate.”