More Louisiana High School Students Enroll in College Courses, but Access Remains Uneven | Education


Although the number of public high school students taking university courses has increased by 60%, barely 1 in 5 of those enrolled are black students.

Louisiana education officials said unequal access, the lack of any statewide plan and other obstacles are hampering efforts to make the dual enrollment program a bigger part. of the educational landscape.

“We still have challenges ahead,” said Larry Tremblay, deputy commissioner for planning, research and academic affairs for the State Board of Regents, which oversees higher education.

Dual enrollment offers high school students a chance to earn both school and college credits.

It seems like a no-brainer – high school students earn up to a year of college credit, which means big savings for students, families, and t…

The case for continuing the credits is overwhelming, Tremblay said.

Those who participate enroll in college at higher rates, graduate earlier, and save money. The most popular courses are math, English, and history, in that order.

A total of 31,517 students were enrolled for the 2017-2018 school year, the last available. Ten years ago, the total was 19,716.

But only 23% of high school students take college courses, according to state figures.

The fact that only 21% of the total are black students – they make up 44% of the high school population – has drawn attention and concern.

How can we improve it, asked Marty Chabert, new chairman of the Board of Regents, at a joint meeting last week of the Regents and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“It highlights the equity gaps we’re seeing,” Higher Education Commissioner Kim Hunter Reed said in an interview.

“For a number of students, it’s exposure and an opportunity to go from ‘I’m not sure I’m college stuff’ to self-talk that ‘I can do this,'” he said. she stated.

State Superintendent of Education John White said the state should make sure tuition fees don’t block enrollment. “We really need to do more to prepare kids from all walks of life for classes,” White said, also in an interview.

Regional, technical and community colleges account for 81% of dual enrollment.

The University of Louisiana system, which includes the University of Southeast Louisiana, the University of New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, comprises 43% of the total, or 13,360 students.

Southeast alone handles 13% of dual-enrollment students statewide, and Louisiana Tech another 10%.

In comparison, LSU represents 7% of the total and the LSU system represents 14% of dual enrollments statewide.

The University of the South in Baton Rouge accounts for 1% of the total and the University of the South system 5%.

Neither LSU nor Southern officials responded to a request for comment.

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The 13 schools that make up the Louisiana Community and Technical College System serve 38% of those taking college courses, or 12,062 students.

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana system, said regional colleges have built strong relationships with local school systems. “It’s vitally important to having an effective dual enrollment program,” Henderson said.

Dual enrollment challenges have been a recurring topic in recent years.

In 2016, the legislature passed a resolution seeking answers about why more students aren’t participating, particularly because barely half of high school seniors complete a full course load.

Last year, Regents tackled issues aimed at ensuring that existing courses include enough rigor and are taught by qualified instructors.

After a timeout in August, the Louisiana Board of Regents is to consider Monday tightening rules on how high school students can earn…

By national standards, Louisiana was behind in the game.

Tremblay said dual enrollment classes used to be for gifted students.

In a related area, the state has also long ranked at or near the bottom in the United States for the number of high school students who earn college credit through Advanced Placement.

Good News, Bad News in Latest Louisiana High School Advanced Placement Results Report

Although small nationally, the number of public high school students earning college credits this year increased 10%, said State Superintendent E…

The lack of any statewide frameworks, like those in North Carolina and Ohio, is one of the stumbling blocks, officials said.

“Other states have figured out how to do it very well,” said state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, who has been involved in efforts to raise the profile of the classes.

The lack of an overall state plan means that dual enrollment varies from district to district.

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Louisiana’s five-year push to reach the national average for public high school students earning college credit has missed the mark — by a long shot.

Some students pay nothing for the courses. Others are charged up to $800 per course. Students from rural areas complain about the lack of access to courses available free of charge in cities.

“It’s all a locally negotiated thing,” White said. “We really need to get to a point where there is a statewide minimum level of access for qualified students.”

Says Reed, “When opportunity is defined by geography, then we know we have to do something different.”

Robert Levy, outgoing Regents chairman, made the same point.

“We don’t have a state framework,” said Levy, who lives in Dubach.

“From day one we said, ‘Where’s the money? “, he added. “We should demand of our legislators that great progress is made in this area.”


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