How many hoops?
It depends where you live.
Here’s our dual enrollment eligibility report card showing which counties most closely adhere to the spirit of Florida statute in allowing students in grades 6-12 to take DE courses.
There is a surprising amount of variability between counties’ DE requirements. We have color coded the report card green for counties following statute, yellow for those that add hurdles and make it more difficult for students to take DE courses, and pink for those counties which add unreasonable requirements, and which in our opinion are limiting and denying these students access to DE courses.
From the report card, a student’s access to DE courses is based more on where they live, rather than their actual college readiness.
We think that’s wrong. Florida statute couldn’t be more clear. Students in grades 6-12 who meet the eligibility criteria must be allowed to participate.
Per Section 1007.271(3), F.S.:
Any additional eligibility requirements or limits on dual enrollment participation based on grade levels must be only to ensure college readiness and not to arbitrarily prohibit students who have demonstrated the ability to master advanced courses from participation.
Unfortunately that is exactly what is being done in several Florida counties, including Sarasota. Rather than adhering to the spirit and letter of the law, some counties are creating excessive hurdles to keep students from being able to take DE courses. Some of their favorite tactics: make students take as many as 7 high school classes, limit eligibility to just 9-12 graders, and require a higher GPA than recommended by Florida law.
Why all the effort to keep students from taking DE classes if they are college ready? After all, there are no restrictions for AP courses. Florida ranks 3rd in the nation for “student AP success.”
Not so secret reason - $$$$
We believe some counties are unfairly restricting DE courses due to money. DE course fees are paid by each district to the college/university with whom they have an articulation agreement. AP courses on the other hand, are paid for by the state. In fact, districts receive incentive funding for each AP course taught and bonuses for teachers and the district if the student passes their AP exam with a score of 3 or above.
Be skeptical when you hear district and school officials spin how they offer more DE courses than ever before. That may be the case, but if the eligibility requirements are so onerous - such as only being allowed to take 1 course per semester or only after taking 7 high school classes, you can see for yourself it’s just window dressing.
Imagine holding back a promising musician, actor or athlete based on their grade or age. It just isn’t done. Students who are ready for the next level should be treated accordingly..
If your student is being denied access to DE or other courses, please reach out to us. We may be able to help. firstname.lastname@example.org.