More Colorado high school students will be able to get a head start on college thanks to landmark, bipartisan legislation that is on its way to Gov. Bill Ritter.
The "concurrent enrollment" bill, strongly supported by the Bell, will allow high school students to simultaneously complete their diplomas and also earn college credits, certificates or associate's degrees.
The bill should increase participation in higher education, but research also shows that other important outcomes are likely to be lower high school dropout rates and improved school performance.
Reducing the high school dropout rate in Colorado has long been a goal of the Bell Policy Center, and we're gratified to see the attention this issue has recently been getting both in our state and nationally.
Four new reports shed light on the dropout problem, and they point the way toward potential approaches to addressing it. And a fifth report quantifies the economic benefits of cutting the dropout rate in half, both for the new graduates and for society.
Last week, The Denver Post published a front-page story on the success of concurrent enrollment programs across the state. Concurrent enrollment allows high school students to simultaneously complete their diplomas and earn college credits, certificates or associate's degrees.
We were pleased to read the article, and we think it is worth taking a moment to celebrate the program's success.
My name is Frank Waterous, and I am a senior policy analyst with the Bell Policy Center. The Bell is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of Colorado.