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 14,000 students from Oklahoma high schools enrolled in concurrent courses, generating nearly 133,000 student credit hours.
Concurrent enrollment allows outstanding high school seniors and juniors who meet admission and course placement requirements to earn college credit at Oklahoma colleges and universities while still in high school. Through the program, eligible high school seniors receive a tuition waiver for up to 18 credit hours of concurrent coursework during the academic year. 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.
“The concurrent enrollment program strengthens student preparation for college, reduces family college costs, and decreases the time required to complete a college degree,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “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. We greatly appreciate the Governor’s and Legislature’s support of the concurrent enrollment program.”
As state system institutions pivoted to online and remote instruction in spring 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, campus faculty and administrators were particularly mindful of the needs of concurrently-enrolled high school students. A working group of K-12 and higher education staff collaborated to develop a guidance document to ensure ongoing positive experiences for concurrent students and participating schools. Additionally, many institutions reached out to concurrent students directly or through the school district to ensure they could continue their college coursework without disruption, providing for connectivity options in campus parking lots, laboratories, and libraries.
A proven driver of degree completion and ultimately, workforce development, concurrent enrollment is an investment that benefits Oklahoma students, families and employers. The state system of higher education’s FY22 budget request includes $4 million to fully fund the concurrent enrollment program for high school seniors and juniors. Expanding concurrent enrollment will enhance college accessibility, promote college affordability and produce more graduates to fill the growing number of jobs in Oklahoma that require a college degree.