High schoolers get easier access to college classes

By Daily News • Last Updated 3:18 pm on Thursday, November 24, 2011

LANSING — The Michigan Senate approved four bills last week sponsored by Sen. Judy Emmons to expand opportunities for high school freshmen and sophomores and nonpublic students to take public community college and university courses.
“This is about increasing access for all Michigan students to a college education, especially at a time when a college or technical education is critical to success in the 21st century economy,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “Certain high school students in Michigan are already allowed to take college courses that count both toward a college degree and high school diploma. My legislation opens this opportunity to more of our children.”
Senate Bill 622 would allow non-public school students to dual enroll in college courses easier. The bill also expands the age limit for eligibility to dual enroll, allowing freshmen and sophomores to take up to two classes per year. Senate Bill 623 makes the same reforms for students wishing to take technical college courses.
“These reforms are also about fairness,” Emmons said. “Students who are homeschooled or attend a nonpublic school should not be denied the opportunity to dual enroll in college courses simply because of how their parents choose to educate them.”
Senate Bills 709 and 710 enable the state treasurer to pay the postsecondary educational or career and technical preparation institution for the courses in which non-public or home-schooled students dual enroll. The treasurer would pay the amount billed by the institution or a pro-rated amount equal to the average statewide per-pupil allowance, whichever is less.
The funds would come from the Michigan Department of Treasury, and not from the local school district.
Students would be limited to taking two courses in the first, second and third years that they dual enroll and four in the fourth year, for a maximum of 10 courses.
The bills have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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