Post-Secondary Education and College in the Schools Options

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Another option offered by Minnesota high schools is a post-secondary enrollment option. This option is comprised of two programs offered to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors: the Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO) and College in the Schools (CIS). These programs are administered by the Minnesota Department of Education and offer high school students to enroll in college courses while still attending high school. The PSEO program allows the students to attend a local college or university that has been approved to be offered to high school students. The College in the Schools option allows high school students to take the college level course from a certified high school teacher. In this option however the high school teacher must be approved by the university or college to be an instructor for the particular course. The high school typically also has a partnership with the college or university. There also is a third program in the post-secondary enrollment options, which is an approved instructing teaching a college course online. Because the high school students are taking a college-level course, the letter grade earned in the class is synonymous with the letter grade earned in the college class. An attractive feature of this type of college preparatory courses is it puts the students in a college level course, and if they take this course on campus, it gives them a moment of insight into the expectations and life of a college student. In the previous school year 28,551 junior and senior students from approximately 82% of the public school districts participated in these concurrent enrollment programs ("Postsecondary enrollment options," 2012). This accounts for almost 21% of all students in high scho... ... middle of paper ... ...attendance while attending college (Mirel, 2006). While Minnesota school systems are undergoing a paradigm shift in the roles of the high school from one of preparing for the job market to preparation for post-secondary education degrees and certificates, we as educators need to ensure that all students benefit from this change for higher education. The high school graduation rates are lower among underrepresented students compared to white, middle and upper class students, and we need to make sure that field of education does not widen the achievement gap, but aims to bridge it for those in need. It is paramount for educators to find a college preparatory course system that will benefit all of their students, and in particular help those from racial minorities or low-income families. Only then can we help them break the cycle of poverty and achieve their goals.

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