In part one of this concurrent enrollment series, we explored key considerations for expanding concurrent enrollment offerings.
In part two, we examine three pitfalls that should be avoided when school districts are designing concurrent enrollment offerings. An expansion of concurrent enrollment must specifically:
- Ensure concurrent enrollment aligns to postsecondary degree requirements. Many concurrent enrollment courses, and their resulting credit are not always guaranteed to meet degree requirements. Furthermore, some institutions of higher education have more stringent requirements for degrees than others. Confirm your students’ concurrent enrollment credits will transfer to their desired institution. This checklist and these guidelines can help high school students plan their AP, IB and Concurrent Enrollment courses.
- Advise students about poor grades in concurrent enrollment and the long-term consequences. Poor grades in concurrent enrollment can lead to a low GPA that could put students on academic probation if they matriculate into the institution. Low grades can also impact their chances of qualifying for some scholarships with GPA requirements. Earning a low grade in concurrent enrollment can also impact the student’s ability to receive and remain eligible for federal financial aid. Good academic standing is required to receive a federal Pell Grant.
- Advise students about the impact concurrent enrollment can have on their eligibility for Colorado-specific financial aid. If students take too many dual/concurrent enrollment courses, especially ones that don’t meet degree requirements and delay their college graduation it could impact their access to financial aid later. All Colorado students get 145 College Opportunity Fund (COF) credits to subsidize the cost of their postsecondary education. Students experiencing academic challenges, those who change majors often, and those who stack multiple undergraduate certificates or degrees over their life are more likely to meet this 145 credit limit.
We encourage school and district leaders to keep these three considerations in mind when designing concurrent enrollment offerings for the next school year.