Taking college courses in high school pays off, Iowa study finds


Research: Jointly enrolled students more likely to pursue higher education

DES MOINES – Students taking credit college courses in high school are more likely to enroll in post-secondary education after graduation and earn a college diploma or diploma, according to a new report from the Ministry of Education. ‘Iowa Education.

State officials reviewed data following 29,000 2011 graduating high school graduates over an eight-year period. Their report “Outcomes of Jointly Enrolled Students in Iowa” compared the post-secondary enrollment and completion rates of students who jointly enrolled in community college credit courses while in high school and students who did not.

“Earning college credit while in high school benefits students in many ways,” said a statement from Ann Lebo, director of the state’s education department. “Although we had a record number of co-enrolled students during the 2019-2020 academic year, we still have work to do.

“Closing the gap and ensuring that all high school students take advantage of these opportunities will help more students explore career paths and experience the rigor of college courses, setting them on the path to success at the college level. both in college and in their careers, ”Lebo added.

Ann Lebo, director of the Iowa Department of Education, speaks to reporters on March 22, 2020, at a press conference in Johnston. (Kelsey Kremer / Des Moines Register / pool photo)

According to the agency’s findings, 75.5% of the 17,508 high school students in the 2011 class who obtained college credits in high school enrolled in college immediately after graduation and 59.1% of these students had graduated in eight years.

In comparison, 50.4 percent of students who did not earn college credit in high school immediately enrolled in college. Of these, the report found that 32.8% graduated or transferred during the same period.

Student participation in joint enrollment in Iowa schools has seen an average annual growth rate of 5.8 percent since 2004, although participation differs by district, state officials said. . A total of 51,800 students were jointly enrolled during the 2019-2020 school year.

The joint enrollment study metrics were collected from 15 community colleges in Iowa.

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