MN High School Students Can Take Free College Classes

About half of the states allow high school students to enroll in college courses.  Last week Minnesota joined the club with legislation powered by a ‘money follows the student’ provision.  Students can take courses on the college campus or online. Following is a summary written by our friend Joe Nathan.

At a time when there is great concern about college costs, and despite intense controversy, yesterday Minnesota Governor Mark Daytona and key Republican and Democratic leaders agreed, on a bi-partisan basis to a historic expansion of Minnesota’s Pioneer Post-Secondary Options legislation.   Many readers care about college costs, so I thought this might interest you.

Starting in the 2012-13 school year, Minnesota high school 10th graders will be able to take free career/technical courses on college campuses.This extends Minnesota’s 27 year old “Post – Secondary Enrollment Options”, for which 11th and 12th graders have been eligible. The law allows participating students to take career tech courses on college campuses in 10th grade, and both career tech and academic courses in the 11th and 12th graders. State funds follow students, paying all their tuition, lab and book fees.The expansion of PSEO (which originally was suggested for 9th and 10th grade, was supported by the African American Leadership Forum, Growth and Justice, Migizi Communications, Minnesota Council on Gifted/Talented, MinnCAN, Education Evolving, EdVisions, Minnesota Business Partnership and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, along with the Center for School Change at Macalester College.Senator Gen Olson, chair of the Minnesota Senate Education Committee, has cited Minnesota Dept of Education research on the value of taking a year-long career-tech class.  The research, (summarized in the attachment) shows that more than 90% of African American, Native American and Latino students who took at least one such course graduated from high school.  This is substantially higher than the overall percentage of such students who graduated.  Sen Olson would be glad to talk with you about this legislation. Her administrative assistant, Greg Marcus, would be glad to arrange a conversation.
Research published earlier in 2012 by the Center for School Change showed PSEO had considerable value to students and families. It has
* Increased communication and collaboration between high schools and colleges
* Encouraged many high schools to offer other forms of Dual Credit
* Been hugely popular with participating students, more than 90% of whom say they would do it again if they had to choose
* Increased the likelihood in some cases that students will not only enter but also graduate from some form of higher ed.
The attached picture shows Paj Ntaub, CSC’s outreach coordinator, speaking at a press conference that the Governor convened.  He asked Paj Ntaub, a refugee to the US and a first generation high school and college graduate, to explain the value of Dual (HIgh School/College) Credit courses as part of the press conference.  Ms. Lee herself took Dual Credit courses while in high  school.
For more, see:

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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