Participation in the state system of higher education’s concurrent enrollment program has nearly doubled in the last decade, and in the previous academic year, more than 13,000 students from Oklahoma high schools enrolled in concurrent courses, generating nearly 123,000 student credit hours.
Concurrent enrollment allows outstanding high school juniors and seniors who meet admission and course placement requirements to earn college credit at Oklahoma colleges and universities while still in high school. Delivered via traditional instruction or online on a college or high school campus, concurrent enrollment courses are taught by qualified faculty providing the student a collegiate experience.
“Concurrent enrollment is a key component of our nationally recognized Complete College America degree completion strategic plan, and was identified as a priority by the State Regents’ Task Force on the Future of Higher Education to improve college readiness and increase the number of college degree holders in our state,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The concurrent enrollment program strengthens student preparation for college, reduces family college costs, and decreases the time required to complete a college degree. We appreciate the leadership provided by Gov. Stitt and our Legislature in fully funding concurrent enrollment for high school seniors during the 2019 legislative session.”
The State Regents remain focused on initiatives that close Oklahoma’s educational attainment gap, and concurrent enrollment is critical to the state’s degree completion efforts. Under the program, eligible high school seniors receive a tuition waiver for up to 18 credit hours of concurrent coursework in the academic year. Given the demonstrated success of concurrent enrollment as a tool to improve college readiness, some institutions have elected to provide tuition waivers for eligible high school juniors, as well.
In fiscal year 2018, campuses were reimbursed only 26% of the total cost to deliver concurrent enrollment. Public higher education received $7.5 million in additional appropriations for concurrent enrollment in fiscal year 2019, which moved the needle to cover approximately 87% of the cost to state system institutions. Fiscal year 2020 funding for public higher education provided the opportunity for full funding of the concurrent enrollment program for high school seniors.
A proven driver of degree completion and ultimately, workforce development, concurrent enrollment is an investment that benefits Oklahoma students, families and employers. Fully funding concurrent enrollment expands college accessibility, promotes college affordability and produces more graduates to fill the growing number of jobs in Oklahoma that require a college degree.