Moffat County High School students get a jump on college with concurrent enrollment | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County High School students get a jump on college with concurrent enrollment

Concurrent enrollment is up across the Colorado Community College System







— When a Moffat County Bulldog and a Colorado Northwestern Community College Spartan combine the result is a chimera — a hybrid student with accelerated learning who may graduate with both a high school diploma and a college associate’s degree.

"Concurrent enrollment is designed to have all the rigors and opportunities of college, with all the support of high school," said Julie Hoff, concurrent enrollment coordinator for CNCC.

Increasingly, high school students are adding duel enrollment to other programs, such as Advanced Placement (AP) courses, that help them to get a jumpstart on college without having to pay costly college tuition and fees.

Concurrent enrollment throughout Colorado is up slightly more than eight percent from 2015 and up 62 percent from five years ago with high school students accounting for about 28 percent of CNCC's total enrollment according to Nancy McCallin, Colorado Community College System president.

McCallin will release a report on Sept. 14 that further outlines the growth of the program.

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"It's something the system has placed a lot of emphasis on and seen substantial growth. The program has saved families a lot of money by offering class within high schools and on campus while the student's way get's paid," she said.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education last studied the benefits of concurrent enrollment to students in 2014 and found that regardless of gender, income or race/ethnic factors students who participated in dual enrollment programs were 23 percent more likely to enroll in college after high school, had higher grade point averages their first year of college and were more likely to return for their second year of college.

Students at Moffat County High School who are able to meet college requirements by scoring well on an Accuplacer or ACT test have the option to enroll in accelerated programs including AP and concurrent enrollment with the school district paying tuition, according to Paula Duzik, MCHS counselor.

In turn, CNCC pays qualified high school teachers to teach college classes at the high school, helping the program to break even for the school district.

"Seven high school teachers are currently teaching concurrent classes at the high school," Duzik said.

Not all classes are taught at the high school.

"We made an agreement to expand the concurrent program. CNCC teaches during third and fourth hour with a bus that runs those students from the high school to the college,” she said.

Transporting students to the college allows them to participate in courses such as cosmetology and automotive and diesel technology program that are not offered at the high school, according to Duzik.

The popular program may receive a further boost in the future as the state considers making it one of a menu of items of requirements for graduation, and if adopted, the new requirements would apply to this year’s eighth-grade class.

"Successful completion of an English and/or math concurrent enrollment course is one of the items included on the Colorado Department of Education’s menu of college and career-ready demonstrations," said Dave Ulrich, superintendent of schools for the Moffat County School District. " I am a strong supporter of concurrent enrollment and Advanced Placement courses as each is great preparation for our students’ post-secondary choices."

Concurrent enrollment is open during the same registration window as the college. This means that enrollment is closed for the fall but will open again later this year for registration for spring semester.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.