Gov. Rauner signs new law to expand dual credit courses

Published: Aug. 10, 2018 at 7:38 PM CDT
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Gov. Rauner signed legislation that improves post-secondary education opportunities by allowing high school students to enroll in an unlimited number of dual credit courses in which they can earn both high school and college credits.

The courses, whether taken in class or online, must be taught by instructors who are in compliance with the Dual Credit Quality Act.

SB 2527 amends the School Code and prohibits a school board from enacting limits to the number of dual credit courses a student may enroll in or the number of credits a student may receive from dual credit courses, provided the courses are taught by Dual Credit Quality Act-compliant instructors, licensed teachers, or community college professors. With some exceptions, the bill also states that if a school district establishes a dual credit online learning program for students, the school board may not limit which students may participate.

Community colleges could see a benefit with increased enrollment and General Education Core Curriculum (GECC) certificate completion. The legislation requires that school boards must have their school district’s high schools inform all 11th- and 12th-grade students of dual enrollment and dual credit opportunities available at public community colleges for qualified students.

Under the new law, students have the ability to complete all of their General Education Core Curriculum (GECC) before graduating high school. Studies reflect that students who attain a certification or a degree are more likely to begin paying off student loans earlier than those who do not finish their programs.

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