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Community Colleges Celebrate Legislation Expanding High School Students’ Access to College Classes

November 12, 2015

On November 4, California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Geoffrey L. Baum and Assembly Majority Leader Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) celebrated the signing of legislation that will expand high school students’ access to college level coursework, providing them with an early opportunity to acquire academic skills that will help them succeed in college. A ceremony was held at Pasadena City College to mark the occasion.

Holden’s Assembly Bill 288 will create partnerships between high schools and community colleges to allow a broader range of students to take college-level courses at their high schools or on college campuses – what is known as concurrent or dual enrollment. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill in October.

“Expanding dual enrollment is critical because it increases opportunities for students to pursue certificates and degrees or transfer to four-year institutions,” said Board of Governors President Baum. “These valuable partnerships will help high school students acquire the academic skills necessary to be successful, and they will gain confidence as a result of early access to college instruction.”

The new partnerships will expand opportunities for students who may not already be college bound or who are underrepresented in higher education, with the goal of developing seamless pathways from high school to community college for career technical education or transfer preparation. These College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) will focus on the needs of local communities and save students, families and the state time, money and scarce educational resources.

“With the signing of AB 288, thousands of high school students across California will be able to receive expanded concurrent enrollment opportunities,” Assembly member Holden said. “Students who never thought college was possible will realize that college is within their reach and that anyone can rise to the challenge.”

The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, removes barriers to concurrent enrollment by allowing students to enroll in a maximum of 15 units of coursework if certain conditions are met and prohibits any fee from being charged to high school students in CCAP courses. Additionally the legislation allows community colleges to limit enrollment in a course offered on a high school campus to CCAP students.

Sources:  Chancellor’s Office, California Community Colleges

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