Education

Is This Education Bill The Next Bipartisan Effort In Virginia?

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

Republican lawmakers in Virginia are trying to obtain bipartisan support for a bill that would ensure dual enrollment courses counted for credit at major state colleges, according to a Thursday report.

Republican delegate Steven Landes introduced House Bill 3 that, if passed, would instruct Virginia’s State Council of Higher Education to work with public universities to determine dual enrollment course standards, allowing students to obtain credit at those institutions, reported The Washington Post. Landes pre-filed the bill Nov. 20, and it is set to be offered Jan. 10, 2018.

“We’ve been trying to look for legislation to deal with practical solutions to problems we’re hearing around the state,” Landes told WaPo. Dual enrollment courses can make college more efficient and less expensive for students, the Virginia delegate stated.

Landes, who previously chaired the Virginia House education committee, said he has received support from community colleges, as well as secondary school representatives. He emphasized ensuring the rigor of dual enrollment courses in order make colleges more likely to award credit for them.

“Too many high school students are working hard and spending extra money for dual enrollment courses, only to get accepted to a two- or four-year institution and find out their dual enrollment courses will not transfer,” Landes said in a press release.

For the fall 2016 semester, 33,700 Virginia high schoolers took dual enrollment courses, reported WaPo.

Students in dual enrollment programs were 12 percent more likely to enroll in college during the first seven months after high school graduation than non-dual enrollment students, according to a study by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Eighty-eight percent of students who took dual enrollment courses during high school enrolled in college after graduating high school, reported Inside Higher Ed. Less than 70 percent of all high school graduates enroll in college.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to David Toscano, Democratic leader of Virginia’s House of Delegates, but received no comment in time for press.

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