Sens. Bill Cassidy joins dual enrollment bill

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Boozman (R-AR) and Al Franken (D-MN), and U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Tom Reed (R-NY) announced they are reintroducing bipartisan legislation to help make college more affordable and accessible by expanding opportunities for high school students to earn college credit.

The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act (MEAA) would improve access to higher education by providing grants to eligible institutions of higher learning to create dual and concurrent enrollment and early/middle college programs that allow high school students to earn college credits before their high school graduation.
“This legislation will help reduce the financial strain on Louisiana families and help students receive the quality education they can use to excel,” said Dr. Cassidy. “In order to bring high-skilled, well-paying jobs with good benefits to Louisiana and our nation, we need a highly capable workforce. This bill provides a next step in training American workers for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Concurrent enrollment programs allow high school students to earn college credit by taking college-level courses that are taught by college-approved high school instructors within a supportive high school environment. High school students in dual enrollment programs take college-level courses while separately enrolled in both their high school and a college or university. Middle and early college high schools and programs introduce students to college-level courses as they work towards an associate’s degree or technical certification while completing their high school diploma. This model often includes a 13th year to allow students to complete their associate’s degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) early college students on average earn 36 college credits, and 30% of early college students earn an associate’s degree.
The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act (MEAA) is supported by a broad coalition of educational organizations,
“High-quality dual and concurrent enrollment programs have demonstrated positive impact on college transition, persistence, and completion, especially for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education,” stated Adam Lowe, Executive Director, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). “This bill will encourage colleges and universities to expand access to the students who will benefit the most from an early exposure to college.”
First introduced several months ago, the original bill is still in committee.

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