Barely five months since its inception, the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship Program is already yielding dramatic results across the Commonwealth, Kentucky Education Department data shows.
Preliminary Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) data shows that 36.3 percent more high school students are enrolled in dual credit courses this semester, compared to Fall 2015 (22,707 vs. 16,659) — with a 49.9 percent increase in the total number of courses taken (42,477 vs. 28,334).
“The response to this initiative has been truly astounding,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “We want Kentucky to have the most well educated, well prepared, and workforce-ready young adults in the nation. This program is a vital step in advancing us toward that exciting goal.”
Bevin and Education and Workforce Development Secretary Hal Heiner launched the Dual Credit Scholarship Program at a ceremony at Russell County High School in Russell Springs on June 1.
Beginning this school year, this program provides funds for dual credit scholarships for all 173 public school districts in the Commonwealth. The Kentucky General Assembly allocated a total of $15 million for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, through applying Kentucky Lottery proceeds to their stated goal of education.
“A high school diploma alone is simply no longer enough to equip today’s students for their futures,” said Heiner. “I believe the choice must be college or college — college on the traditional academic route or college on the career and technical track.”
“Studies show that high schoolers who are exposed to dual credit opportunities are more likely to go on to enroll and succeed in the postsecondary world, and this program helps to level the playing field for all of Kentucky’s students.”
Local school districts apply for the scholarships for each eligible student and course. An amount has been reserved for each high school for dual credit scholarships based on each school’s proportion of seniors.
Eligible dual credit courses include both general education classes and career and technical education courses in state-approved career pathways that lead to an industry-recognized credential.
“We appreciate the Dual Credit Scholarship Program and the opportunity it presents for our students,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said. “The program is helping to empower every student to reach his or her potential and equip each one with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to pursue a successful future and become a productive member of our workforce and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Participating postsecondary institutions agree to the tuition and fees ceiling for dual credit courses established in the program’s guidelines — one-third of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) in-state tuition rate.
“We are excited about the financial benefits Kentucky students and families are realizing through the availability of dual credit,” said Dr. Carl Rollins, executive director of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA), which administers the program. “Students can reduce the time it takes to complete college while in high school by taking college coursework at little to no cost.”
All of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities, plus all but six of the state’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accredited private postsecondary institutions, are currently participating in the Dual Credit Scholarship Program.
Participating institutions include: Bellarmine University, Brescia University, Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Christian University, Kentucky State University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lindsey Wilson College, Midway University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Spalding University, Thomas More College, Union College, University of the Cumberlands, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Pikeville, and Western Kentucky University, as well as the 16 colleges of the KCTCS system.
“This scholarship program has been transformative in providing high school students with affordable access to dual credit college and university courses well before graduation,” said Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) President Bob King. “The Council will continue to advocate for access, affordability and quality of dual credit courses as we work with all entities to make this program as successful and efficient as possible.”
For more information about the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship Program, please visit http://ewdc.ky.gov/pages/DualCredit.aspx.
From Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Communications