HD36 - Dual Enrollment Fees

Executive Summary:
Dual Enrollment programs provide an opportunity for high school students to enroll in college level courses while still in high school and receive both high school and college credit simultaneously. There are dual enrollment programs in place in most every state in the nation including the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In the 1997 Session of the Virginia General Assembly, a joint resolution (HJR No. 562) was passed requesting "the State Board for Community Colleges to study the feasibility of establishing uniform fees for dual enrollment programs." Toward that end, the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System appointed a committee to conduct the study. Data were collected from across the country and from the community colleges in the Virginia Community College System as well to garner information about existing programs.

The data collected indicated that there are a variety of models in place across the country which deal with such issues as who offers dual enrollment programs (two year or four year colleges), who teaches in the programs (full-time college faculty, part-time college faculty, or high school teachers), and who pays the costs associated with the program (tuition and fees). Only one factor is consistent across the country and that is that both high school and college credit is awarded to the students.

The Committee has made two (2) recommendations: (1) that local schools/school divisions shall pay to the community college only the costs associated with tuition and technology for their students to enroll in the dual enrollment program; and (2) that the current practice of allowing community colleges and schools/school divisions to negotiate reimbursement of costs for the dual enrollment program should be left in place allowing as much flexibility as possible to exist.

The Committee believes that these recommendations will ensure flexibility across the Commonwealth and maintain or even increase participation by the schools/school divisions. The Committee members recognize that the lack of a consistent formula for reimbursement of costs to the schools/school divisions may have contributed to the request by the General Assembly for this study. We believe, though, that since each dual enrollment agreement was developed by input from both the local community college and schools/school division, they are in a better position to know what is acceptable and affordable in their respective regions.

Additionally, since there is already a common boilerplate for the actual agreement in place, and there are several different models of delivery being utilized across the Commonwealth, a common formula for reimbursement doesn't seem necessary.