The road towards college and career readiness is hoping to undergo construction in order to become that much smoother for California high school students, thanks to Assembly Bill 288’s passage on Tuesday out of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education.
The bill, which has been joint-authored by Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen (R-Riverbank) and Assembly Majority Leader Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), aims to lift restrictions on concurrent enrollment in high school and community college.
“As a worldwide economic leader, we must do everything we can to ensure that California students are ready for the jobs of an ever-changing California economy,” said Olsen. “Making community college courses more accessible to high schools students will help ignite their sense of purpose and drive that is essential in today’s fast-paced world, while improving their eligibility for a wider range of jobs early on,” continued Olsen.
AB 288 seeks to allow more students to take community college courses, at a local college and/or on their high school campus, in order to improve workforce readiness and better prepare students for college.
“There is a growing recognition that concurrent enrollment at community colleges can pave the way to a four-year college, while also reducing the cost of that four-year degree,” said Assemblymember Holden. “The boost in confidence a student receives when he or she completes a college course as a student in high school can encourage the realization that college is within their reach; this is especially important for minority and low-income students.”
“We believe AB 288 is an important policy step forward to provide broader access to dual enrollment opportunities and to ensure greater student success in both high school and college,” testified Vincent Stewart, Vice Chancellor, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
Specifically, AB 288 does the following:
· Creates College and Career Access Pathways partnerships between community college districts and high schools in its area.
· It also authorizes students to take up to 15 units instead of the current 11.
· Gives priority to students participating in a career pathway.
· Authorizes community college courses to be offered on high school campuses.
· Prohibits “double-dipping” where both the high school and the college are reimbursed for the student.
· Provides more transparency and accountability between high schools and colleges.
AB 288 passed the Assembly Committee on Higher Education on Tuesday and is expected to be heard in the Assembly Education Committee in the coming weeks.