April 30, 2021 Academics

Number of high school students earning community college credit hits record high

IA Dept of Edu Press Release

In March, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announced that a record-high number of Iowa high school students earned dual high school and community college credit for courses in the 2019-20 school year. Joint enrollment increased by 2.4 percent in the state. The Sioux City Community School District far exceeded this state metric, with a 9 percent increase from 2018-19 to the 2019-20 school year.

Collectively, East High, North High, and West High had 1,525 students dual-enrolled in Western Iowa Tech Community College in the 2019-20 school year. This is up from 1,399 in 2018-19. Dual enrollment courses are offered through each high school in the District, as well as the Sioux City Career Academy.

“The continued growth in dual enrollment in our District is evidence of the educational value students experience in the Sioux City Career Academy and through our partnership with Western Iowa Tech Community College,” said Katie Towler, principal of the Sioux City Career Academy. “Students today are entering a highly competitive global workforce. Our pathways allow high school students to begin career exploration and post-secondary education, while in high school, in order to be successful in meeting the demands of the ever-changing economy.”

Iowa high school students earn community college credit at no cost to their families because of supplemental weighting provided by the state’s school funding formula and the contracts that school districts and nonpublic schools typically arrange with their local community college.

“In Iowa, we have put a strong emphasis on dual enrollment because it helps students get a head start on college coursework while lowering the overall cost of higher education,” said Gov. Reynolds. “There’s more work to do, but we continue to see the benefits of the strong partnerships that exist between business, industry, and educators as they help students attain the necessary education for a successful career and exciting future.”

The full report from the Iowa Department of Education is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.