New law expands access to dual enrollment

October 28, 2019

Recent changes in California law increase the power of dual enrollment to broaden access to college and serve as a tool for equity. 

Studies have shown positive outcomes for students who participated in high-quality dual enrollment while in high school, compared with their peers who didn’t. They are more likely to graduate high school, to enroll in college, and then either to earn a certificate or degree or to transfer from a two-year to a four-year institution. 

Dual enrollment opportunities will expand in California with amendments to the College and Career Access Pathways law, also known as AB 288 or CCAP, which became law when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 30. The changes take effect in January.  

Most notably, partnerships created under CCAP will be available to students for at least five years longer because the law now sunsets in 2027 instead of 2022. Other important changes:

  • Simplified application and enrollment processes — Students now submit a  parental consent form, principal recommendation, and application only once for the duration of their CCAP participation, instead of completing a new set of documents each semester. (Partnerships should revisit their processes to reflect this.)
  • Priority registration — Units earned in a CCAP program now count toward eligibility for priority registration and enrollment at community colleges.
  • Simplified CCAP agreement adoption — Districts may now adopt a CCAP agreement at the first public meeting when it is discussed. 
  • Broadened access to community college — Continuation high school students are now named specifically among students able to participate in CCAP programs.
  • Workforce Investment Board input CCAP partnerships must now consult their local WIB about whether their career technical education pathways align with regional and statewide labor markets. 
  • Reporting — The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office must report on dual enrollment on Jan. 1, 2020 (moved up from 2021), and then every five years.

Another new law, known as SB554, which also takes effect in January, allows students in a GED or other high school diploma equivalency program to participate in Dual Enrollment.

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