DES MOINES, Iowa – A record number of Iowa students earned dual high school and community college credit in the 2019-20 school year.
The Iowa Department of Education says joint enrollment increased 2.4 percent to 51,800 students, including students who earned 216 associate degrees, 49 diplomas and 642 certificates along with high school diplomas.
“In Iowa we have put a strong emphasis on dual enrollment because it helps students get a head start on college coursework while lowering the overall cost of higher education,” says Governor Kim Reynolds. “There’s more work to do, but we continue to see the benefits of the strong partnerships that exist between business, industry, and educators as they help students attain the necessary education for a successful career and exciting future.”
State officials say high school students participating in joint enrollment programs accounted for 40.8 percent of total community college enrollment. Nearly 45 percent of participating high school students were seniors and 34 percent were juniors.
“I am proud that Iowa makes joint enrollment available to all high schools across the state,” says Education Director Ann Lebo. “We will continue to look at ways to ensure joint enrollment growth in future years as a means to jump-start student success in college and career training.”
The Department of Education says Iowa high school students earn community college credit at no cost to their families because of supplemental weighting provided by the state’s school funding formula and the contracts that school districts and nonpublic schools typically arrange with their local community college.