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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Dual enrollment day: Did you get your classes?



Thursday was dual enrollment day at Pasco-Hernando Community College. Some students camped out as if they were waiting for scarce concert tickets.

Pasco High senior Shannon Morris arrived at the campus at 3:30 a.m., wearing heavy sweats and a fluffy winter jacket, even though the doors for registration didn't open until 8 a.m. She was fifth in line.

"You can sign up later," said Morris, 17. "But if you want the classes that you want, you have to get there today."

She won spots in statistics and marine biology, as hoped.

Others of her classmates showed up later, and had to wait longer to get into their courses, which already are limited because the college places paying students ahead of high schoolers who get the credits for free.

Florida lawmakers are looking into possible changes for dual enrollment access and funding for the future, with a guiding question of whether there's mission creep among high schools, community colleges (which increasingly offer 4-year degrees) and universities.

Maybe the state needs to realign the latter years of high school into a 2+2+2 program with college and universities. Perhaps high school needs to become harder for juniors and seniors, leaving higher education options for afterward. Or maybe the state's flop of an 18-credit high school graduation option requires a revamp, allowing dual enrollment for students even after they've completed their diploma.

There's a variety of options out there. Is there a good way to streamline the process so kids get the education they need without breaking their bank, or the college's bottom line?

[Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 2:54pm]


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