Minnesota 10th grade students are now eligible to earn college credits from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) under a revised state law that took effect in July.
The amended law governs the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program, which allows high school students to complete college-level courses. PSEO courses have been available to 11th and 12th grade students since 1985. The recent revision allows 10th grade students who have attained a passing score on the reading section of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments and meet course prerequisites to take a career or technical education course. PSEO courses are typically taught on MnSCU campuses by college or university faculty. In certain circumstances, college-level courses are taught in high schools, commonly referred to as concurrent enrollment. Online courses also are available to PSEO students. In 2011, nearly 25,000 high school students, or 82 percent of all PSEO/concurrent enrollment students in Minnesota, earned college credits from MnSCU colleges and universities.
“We are committed to helping students pursue the education they need, not only to prepare them for the jobs of the future, but to succeed in life,” said Doug Knowlton, MnSCU vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “PSEO is not appropriate for every student, but for those individuals who are prepared, PSEO courses are a great way to get a jump start on a postsecondary education by earning college credits while in high school. We are excited about this expansion to the program, which enables us to help even more Minnesotans create a better future for their self and contribute to the prosperity of the state.”
Compared to peers who did not participate in dual credit programs, PSEO students have:
· Higher rates of enrolling in a college or university after graduation;
· Lower rates of required remedial coursework to prepare for college level studies; and
· Higher rates of earning postsecondary degrees.
Tuition, fees and books for PSEO students are paid by the Minnesota Department of Education under a formula established by the statute.