Here at the Bell Policy Center, we know that it takes time to turn research into policy and then legislation. Of course, what really matters is the results.
Well, the latest results are in on concurrent enrollment, and they are dramatic. And we couldn't be more pleased – because more Colorado high school students are following their dreams and attending college and because we worked hard to help craft the legislation that put concurrent enrollment in place.
In front of a standing-room-only crowd, including legislators, the lieutenant governor, the state treasurer, the commissioner of education, key education stakeholders, school administrators, teachers and – most important of all – hundreds of students, Gov. Bill Ritter today signed into law nine education bills passed during this year's legislative session. The ceremony was held at the Denver Public Schools' Career Education Center in north Denver.
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.
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.