In an increasingly global economy, a high school degree may no longer be sufficient to obtain a job that can support a family. We know that students are getting the message that college pays off, because a majority aspire to earn a college degree. But, college remediation rates are high, students are taking longer to earn their degree, and college completion rates are low. Early college initiatives and other dual enrollment programs are promising strategies for increasing college attainment. They offer students the opportunity to earn college credit, potentially even an associate’s degree, while earning their high school diploma.
That’s why a federal investment in fast-track programs can provide schools serving low-income students with resources and incentives to establish and support dual enrollment programs and early college high schools. Such an investment would help more students obtain a postsecondary credential by exposing them to the rigors of college-level work, motivating them to continue their postsecondary education, and saving them money in the process.
Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Jobs for the Future in welcoming Congressman Dale E. Kildee (D-MI) and Senator Herbert Kohl (D-WI) as they discuss their Fast Track to College Act of 2009. We will also hear from experts and practitioners about their experiences with dual enrollment and early college programs and discuss their potential for increasing college access and completion.