Education Department program consultant, Eric St. Clair, says joint enrollment in high school and college courses set a new record for the state with 44,000 students participating in 2015.
He says Iowa is the tops nationally for the percent of college and university students under the age of 18 who enroll in college credit courses.
St. Clair says the state’s decision to help schools pay for the courses is a big reason behind the increase. “It’s a contract between high schools and community colleges — and for eligible courses — school districts receive a certain amount of additional funding for these courses that high school students are enrolling in, which helps offset the costs of those courses,” St. Clair says.
While the students get college credit, he says it also helps the school districts and the state as a whole. “Certainly it helps them provide access to advance courses that might not otherwise be available to students. These courses are intended to supplement the curriculum that they already offer,” St. Clair says. “I think a big benefit and certainly where Iowa leads is providing additional opportunities in career and technical education programming.”
He says the number of students taking college credit course in Iowa has been steadily rising. St. Clair says the total enrollment has increased about 104 percent since 2004. You can find out more about the program at the Iowa Department of Education’s website at: www.educateiowa.gov.